Jared Leto’s Worst-Kept Secret via @newyorktimes [6/7/13]
Jared Leto’s Worst-Kept Secret
By ANDREW GOLDMAN
Published: June 7, 2013
I just saw a video for a single from your new 30 Seconds to Mars album, “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.” Why is it that when you are acting, you are Jared Leto, but when you direct music videos you go by Bartholomew Cubbins?
It’s one of my favorite Dr. Seuss characters. It started a long time ago. I wanted not to have any of the distractions that may come along with putting my name on a video that I was starring in, that I wrote the song for, that I was in the band of. It’s the worst-kept secret out there. But we’ve continued it just for fun.
At one point in the video for the song “Closer to the Edge,” the words “Yes, this is a cult” come on-screen.
It’s a joke, a response to journalists saying, ‘‘You have such a cult following.’’ We have always had incredibly committed people following us. If people like 30 Seconds to Mars, they really, really, really like it.
Seeing all those fans screaming and crying, I guess I didn’t quite understand where the joke ended and where the actual messianic business began, you know?
Well, I’ll push back a little bit. The joke isn’t really for you. It’s for the believers who get the joke.
You never use the word “fans.” People who like you are “the echelon.”
I hate the word ‘‘fan’’; it just seems so dismissive. Because we have this cult, this family, these believers who understand, it seems fitting that there was a name to reference them.
Do I have to take any expensive classes or do any E-meter auditing to join?
Yes. Of course you do. You have to dance under the full moon and drink the freshly sacrificed blood of a human baby.
Not to bring you down, but Rolling Stone has written some pretty brutal reviews of 30 Seconds to Mars’s albums.
We have gotten our asses kicked in America, but part of it is for a good reason. There was an incredibly long list of offenders before us, dilettante actors who put out an album just because they had the opportunity and finances to do so. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and I think that story has righted itself.
You got down to 116 pounds in less than a month to play an AIDS-afflicted transgendered person in “Dallas Buyers Club.” I’d love to be 25 pounds lighter for a wedding in a couple of weeks. Any tips?
Yes. The No. 1 rule is you have to stop eating. The No. 2 rule is you have to stop eating. And the No. 3 rule is you have to drink a lot of water. It’s really about calories and math. There were some days where I had maybe like half a cucumber. I ate very, very little.
Did the director say you needed to do it for the part?
No, nobody told me to lose any weight. Not only was the character dying of AIDS, but he was also a drug addict, and I thought it was appropriate to put myself in that place.
But you lost a ton of weight for “Requiem for a Dream” too. Should we be worried?
No, not at all. I gained 60 pounds for ‘‘Chapter 27.’’ For me, it’s a job, it’s something that I do to serve the character. It is not fun at all. I love to eat.
For years, it seemed as if talking about playing Jordan Catalano in “My So-Called Life” made you itchy. Why?
It was my first job, a really small period in my life. We only did 19 episodes. It was a matter of months. I certainly feel really grateful about it.
Did a fan really send you a severed ear?
That ear is not the craziest thing. I got a FedEx box full of pubic hair one time.
But an ear? You swear?
Of course! How could I have not been sent an ear?
You’ve said some strange things in interviews over the years. You once claimed to have spent time in prison.
When I was young, I read that River Phoenix said he tried to lie as much as possible in interviews. It’s O.K. to have a little fun out there. It’s not about being evasive. As you can see, I’m an open book.
INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.