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Jared Leto Modeled His ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Contact Lenses After His Blind Performance Coach

Leto knows secrets about "Blade Runner" and "The Little Things" that he won't tell anybody else.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto in ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Everett Collection

[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “The Little Things.”]

Jared Leto participated in GQ magazine’s “Iconic Characters” video series and spoke about being the only one in the world who knows the answers to big questions posed in two of his films: “Blade Runner 2049” and “The Little Things.” The “Blade Runner” franchise has launched a decades-old debate over whether protagonist Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a human or a replicant, something Leto says “2049” director Denis Villeneuve allowed him to decide for himself during the making of the 2017 sequel.

“There are two movies now where I know the answer and nobody else does,” Leto said. “Denis [Villeneuve] told me on ‘Blade Runner’ that because I look inside of Harrison Ford’s mind, I’m the only one who knows if he is a replicant or not. So he said that I can decide, so I have that secret, and now on [‘The Little Things’] I have this secret to carry as well.”

“The Little Things” secret is the answer to whether or not Leto’s character, Albert Sparma, is a killer. Sparma is the murder drama’s lead suspect, although law enforcement characters played by Denzel Washington and Rami Malek struggle to find sufficient evidence to arrest him. The film ends with Malek’s character killing Sparma and covering up the death. As for whether Sparma is guilty or not, that’s something only Leto knows.

Reflecting on “Blade Runner 2049,” Leto remembered his first day on set was to film his big confrontation scene with Harrison Ford. “We finished up the scene. Long shoot day,” the actor said. “Very intense…we did the scene a bunch of times. We’re finished up and they shuffled me off to the side, the AD did. I was standing there alone and someone comes up to me and wraps their arms around me and gives me this huge hug. A very emotional hug…it felt like there were tears flowing. It was Harrison Ford. It was a special and beautiful moment. I think that he went somewhere really special in that scene and I was so happy to be there with him as he was putting such great work on the screen.”

Reports surfaced at the time of “Blade Runner 2049’s” release that Leto used custom made contact lenses to blind himself for the entirety of the shoot, but those contacts had a personal connection to the actor. As Leto told GQ, “I had a really wonderful teacher, a guy named Chris, who is blind. He’s an amazing coach. We actually modeled my eyes in the film after his eyes in real life. He’s just a really special person. There’s a lot of him in the physicality of that performance.”

When the “Iconic Characters” interview got around to Leto’s turn as Joker in “Suicide Squad,” the actor set the record straight over the rumors he gifted his co-stars gruesome items. “It’s also interesting how this stuff all takes on a life of its own,” he said. “I never gave Margot Robbie a dead rat. That’s not true. I actually gave her — I found this place in Toronto that had great vegan cinnamon buns, and that was a very common thing.”

Watch Leto’s full video interview with GQ magazine in the video below.

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