- 10:39 AM, Oct 07
If acting is an addiction, Jared Leto is then a victim. He had shown total commitment in most of his works. Glancing back at his male leading role in "Requiem for a Dream" (2000), little had people known that he was going through an extreme diet and gave up sex with his then fiancee, Cameron Diaz to make himself appear closest to the character Harry Goldfarb, the drug addict. Through this movie, his co-star, Ellen Burstyn was nominated Best Actress in a Leading Role in the 2001 Oscar. Ironically he didn't get any. For Leto personal satisfaction sometimes worth more than praise. "All of my roles have had their own unique set of challenges, and I enjoy that in some perverse, masochistic way," he said.
Born on December 26, 1971 in Bossier City, Louisiana, Jared Leto had a rather gloomy childhood. Post his parents' divorce, he followed his single mum, Constance and brother, Shannon to live nomadically. His artistic blood eventually delivered him to University of the Arts in Philadelphia and New York's School of Visual Arts to successively study painting and filmmaking. In 1991, he moved to L.A. to seek a better future and only found it three years later after he starred as Claire Danes' object of vague love in the critically acclaimed teen drama series "My So-Called Life" (1994). He would still play opposite Danes in "How to Make American Quilt" (1995) before playing along Christina Ricci in British comedy "The Last of the High Kings" (1996). Already, Leto was on his way to the big league of showbiz.
However, amid the thriving career, he was stumbled by his third big screen movie. If there is a notion 'playing a real life story can be a passage for actors to show fully his or her capability of portraying the character as inspirational individual', it was sadly the other way round for Leto. When the biopic "Prefontaine" about the short life of Steve Prefontaine was made in 1997, he could have easily gained position as top actor like Russell Crowe who beautifully captured the life of John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind" (2001). Despite Leto's physical performance that bore a resemblance to the real person, "Prefontaine" was far from successful. It was very much compared to Billy Crudup's version of Prefontaine in "Without Limits" (1998) which was claimed to be more magnificent.
Switching to a different lane, he