When talent meets hard work, it births excellence. Jared Leto is a total package of exceptional acting skills, a talented musician, songwriter and also an acclaimed director. Jared is known to be choosy about the roles he takes up and has been known to make extensive research into any character he accepts, thus Jared Leto’s movies and TV shows are usually one to look out for. He is one of the few actors that immerse themselves fully into their character which makes his presentation believable and almost true to life. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the actor has been the recipient of an Oscar, Golden Globe and SAGS Awards. He has had at least 119 nominations and 68 wins in his career. The talented artist has been able to successfully combine his musical and acting careers making a success of both simultaneously.
Who Is Jared Leto?
He was born as Jared Joseph Leto in Bossier City, Louisiana, the United States on the 26th of December, 1971. His parents got divorced when he was young and his mother, Constance Leto, raised him alongside his brother, Shannon, in her parent’s house. Jared’s father got married again but unfortunately, he died by suicide when Jared was just 8 years of age. His grandfather, William Lee Metrejon, was in the Air Force so they moved around a lot while he was growing up. His mother married again and they all began to bear the name of their stepfather – Leto.
His mother encouraged him and his brother to get involved in the arts and they would come to gain lots of influences from the artists, painters, musicians, photographers, and thespians around whom they grew up. Diverse creative experiences and expressions were celebrated which birthed creativity in the young Jared. He then began to play music with his brother.
Jared left school for a while when he reached 10th grade but returned to become more focused on his studies at ‘Emerson Preparatory School, Washington DC. As he studied, he became interested in visual artistry on a large scale and registered in the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. He also realized that he had a flair for film making and he transferred to the School of Visual Arts, New York City. As a student here, Jared wrote and acted in his first short movie titled Crying Joy. Jared Leto then proceeded to the Corcoran School of Arts & Design.
Jared moved to LA in 1992 to pursue his directing career with the hope of acting on the side. His breakthrough role was in the 1994 drama My So-Called Life which was well-received but short-lived. His first role in a film was in How to Make an American Quilt (1995). Since his first role, he has gone ahead to feature in more than 25 movies and TV shows. While Jared Leto continues to immerse himself in his roles, he has had some sterling performances, successful movies and some that haven’t been as successful.
It is pertinent to point out that there are different criteria that are considered before a movie or TV show is considered successful. While Jared Leto has tried to be consistent and convincing in his role portrayal, for reasons beyond his control, some of the movies and television shows has not turned out well. Here is a list of Jared Leto’s movies and TV shows ranked from best to worst.
Jared Leto Movies & TV Shows Ranked From Best to Worst
1. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
This movie remains one of Leto’s best performances to date. He won a total of 38 prestigious awards out of 54 nominations for his performance. In the movie, he featured as ‘Rayon’ who is a transgender woman who is addicted to drugs and has AIDS. He met lots of transgender people while doing his research for the role, thus his portrayal was very real. It was reported that he refused to break character throughout the filming.
The movie won 3 Oscars with Leto winning one; it also had 82 other award wins and 81 other nominations. It was also a success in the box office with a gross of $27.2 million in the United States and $55.2 million overall as against the $5 million budget.
2. My So-Called Life (1994)
Jared Leto’s acting debut was in television in the teen drama, My So-Called Life. The show received positive reviews especially with its accurate portrayal of an adolescent’s life. The show has been described as one of the greatest television shows of all times and earned a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Unfortunately, the show was canceled after the first season with 19 episodes. Jared earned a Bravo Otto Awards nomination for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series. The show also earned several Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe and Young Artist Award wins and nominations.
3. Prefontaine (1997)
In this movie, Jared Leto starred as Steve Prefontaine in Prefontaine. The film captures the life and early death of a long-distance professional runner. As he already had a striking resemblance to the original Prefontaine, he immersed himself in the life of the runner by meeting with his family and friends and also trained for six weeks. He also adopted his upright running style, voice, and raw vitality. In all, his portrayal was outstanding and believable. Critics have named it his breakthrough role.
4. Chapter 27 (2007)
Jared won an Audience Award for Best Performance in the 2007 Zurich Film Festival for his portrayal of David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon. He prepared for this role by listening to audiotapes of Chapman’s interview. He also added 67 pounds to emulate Chapman’s physique. While there were contrasting critical opinion on the movie as a whole, Jared’s performance received praise all round.
5. Requiem For a Dream (2000)
This Jared Leto movie is an adaptation of a novel by Hubert Selby Jr. with the same name. Leto played the role of Harry Goldfarb, a heroin addict. In preparation for the role, Jared lived on the streets of New York City and abstained from sex for two months before shooting. He also lost a total of 28 pounds to realistically portray a heroin addict. Jared lived in a monastery in Portugal for several months to regain his weight after the shooting. His performance was praised and well received by critics. It also has a rating of 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie earned several prestigious award nominations including the Academy, Golden Globe and SAGS Awards.
6. Mr. Nobody (2009)
Jared Leto featured as Nemo Nobody in the science fiction movie. Being the last mortal on earth after the human race became immortal. Critics have praised him for his brilliance in portraying the different versions of his character, as a 34-year-old and as a 118-year-old.
The film was nominated and won numerous awards including the Magritte Awards, People’s Choice Award, Fonske Awards, European Film Awards amongst others.
7. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Featuring as Niander Wallace in this science fiction movie, Jared Leto acted in a supporting role and gave an amazing performance as usual. While the film was a disappointment in the box office, making a gross of $259 million worldwide against a $150- $185 million budget, the movie earned five Oscar nominations winning two. It received 8 nominations at the British Academy Film Awards and 7 Critics Choice Awards nominations. Ironically, the movie also rated 87% percent on Rotten Tomatoes with lots of positive comments from critics.
8. The Lord of War (2005)
In this movie, Jared Leto featured as Vitaly Orlov a younger brother to arms dealer Yuri Orlov in this crime drama. While the movie has been endorsed by Amnesty International (a human rights group) and was also mildly successful in the box office, it has received mixed reviews from critics. Some believe the plot is too scattered and lacks a particular connection. Jared’s performance was also, surprisingly, described as average.
9. Suicide Squad (2016)
This Jared Leto movie features an ensemble cast including Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Joel Kinnaman to mention a few. While the movie made a whopping $746.8 million against the $175 million budget, Jared’s performance and portrayal of the ‘Joker’ was not been well received. Jared himself has been said to express his disappointment in the way his character turned out in the final cut. He earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for ‘Worst Supporting Actor’ for his performance.
Despite the negative review by critics and a paltry 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie was well-received by fans. It earned an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and won a Critics’ Choice Movie Award. It also got 3 Grammy nominations, and 7 People’s Choice Awards, amongst others.
10. The Outsider (2018)
The movie chronicles the journey of an American who becomes a member of the Japanese Yakuza. The movie was released on Netflix on the 9th of March 2018 and the reviews have not been favorable. Rotten Tomatoes rates the movie at a poor 3.6 of 10 and Jared’s casting and performance were described in unfavorable terms and surprisingly, this wasn’t even the movie’s biggest problem.
Jared Leto has been described by some as an eccentric individual with an eclectic style due to the extremes he goes through while portraying a character. Being an artist true and through, his brilliance shines through in all his performances.