Jared Leto, forever in pursuit of being the ultimate contemporary method actor (sorry, Daniel Day-Lewis), went all in while filming Denis Villeneuve’s blockbuster sequel “Blade Runner 2049.” The director reveals in a Jared Leto profile for The Wall Street Journal that the Oscar-winning actor actually blinded himself in order to prepare to play the movie’s villainous big bad, a replicant manufacturer named Niander Wallace.
“We all heard stories about Jared, how he transforms into the characters, but even this didn’t prepare me for what was to come,” Villeneuve tells WSJ. “He entered the room, and he could not see at all. He was walking with an assistant, very slowly. It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple. Everybody became super silent, and there was a kind of sacred moment. Everyone was in awe. It was so beautiful and powerful—I was moved to tears. And that was just a camera test!”
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Leto remained blind for the entire shoot, according to the WSJ profile, using a set of custom made contact lenses that turned his eyes totally opaque. “That, for me, was insane,” Villeneuve adds. “But he really created something. Every time Jared came on set, it was a boost of energy, tension and excitement.”
Leto is being a bit more modest about his method acting on the movie. He told the WSJ, “I didn’t dive as deep down the rabbit hole as maybe I’ve done before, but I stayed really focused. I’m crazy, but I’m not insane.”
Going blind is certainly a display of commitment, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the method shenanigans Leto executed as The Joker while filming “Suicide Squad.” The movie’s production was constantly in the headlines for Leto’s on set behavior, which included sending various cast members disturbing items like live rats, used condoms, and anal beads.
“Blade Runner 2049” opens in theaters nationwide October 6.