Exclusive: Jared Leto Talks Blade Runner 2049

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Exclusive: Jared Leto Talks Blade Runner 2049
Posted by Wilson Morales

October 2, 2017

Coming out this week from Warner Bros. Pictures and Alcon Entertainment is Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited sci-fi sequel to 1982’s Blade Runner.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film returns Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, along with Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, with Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.

The film is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

For Leto, who plays Neader Wallace, this is his second biggest role since he won the Oscar in 2013 for Best Supporting Actor in Dallas Buyers Club. Having worked over 20 years with film roles in Fight Club, Requiem for a Dream, Panic Room and Chapter 27, Leto is now starting to peak with some amazing performances. Rumor has it that he may reprised his Joker role in several films for Warner Bros. When he’s not acting, Leto is tour with his well-successful music band, 30 Seconds to Mars. Blackfilm.com recently caught up with him as he spoke about his role in Blade Runner 2049.

How much can you say about your character?

Jared Leto: I can tell you that his name is Neander Wallace. He is a complex human being, like we all are. He saves the entire planet from starvation and goes on to redevelop a new generation of replicants. He advances the technology of these artificial people. He’s a very, smart, ruthless individual.

From what we have seen in the short story, what makes Neander ruthless?

Jared Leto: I think that he just knows what has to be done in order to save the species. He’s not afraid to do the difficult task, the necessary evil. He’s not afraid of that, even if that means that some have to die so others can live.

Were you a fan were you of the original and was that an impact in you saying yes to doing this film?

Jared Leto: I was a huge fan of the original. It’s one of my favorite films of all time. I’ve seen it 1000 times.

Which version?

Jared Leto: I’ve seen them all, but I grew up with the voice-over version, the original version. In the past 10 years, I’ve only watched Ridley’s director’s cut.

How much fun was working on the short story? Was that shot before, during or after the film?

Jared Leto: We shot during the movie by Ridley’s son Luke. It was a pleasure. It was a different experience completely. Different director, different team, different DP and it was a little bit of a race because we had little time to prepare. I had very little time to prepare the dialogue, but I was glad I had more time with Neander Wallace.

How much of a difference is there playing the same role but under two directors, Denis and Luke?

Jared Leto: Incredible. They are both so talented. Working with Denis was a dream come true. I have been waiting for that opportunity for quite some time. He was an absolute pleasure.

In the short film, Wallace is introduce the Nexus 9 and in the original film, we had the Nexus 6. What has changed in the 30 years between the models?

Jared Leto: Things like longevity. Things like compliance, obedience, and intuition.

So much has been mentioned regarding you wearing contacts to play blind in the film. Was that in the script or your choice? If so, why?

Jared Leto: I thought it helped to create a greater sense of reality. It was a bit of a magic trick.

When you go method in your roles, is there an opportunity for others to get to know the real you?

Jared Leto: I think so. I think it say a lot about someone in the choices that they make. I think you can learn about me through that process.

What was the chemistry like between you and Harrison?

Jared Leto: I’m a huge admirer of Harrison. He’s taught me a lot over the years as an actor, just watching him from afar. I’ve always had such a deep respect for his work ethic, for his consistency, his ability and his longevity. He’s run the longest marathon in the history of actors. He’s just been it for so long at such a high level, it’s an inspiration to see.

You’ve worked a long time in this business, but since the Oscars, how much has your life changed and what makes you say yes to the roles you take?

Jared Leto: It’s changed a lot. It shines a bright light in your direction. It’s a wonderful experience. Anytime an artist gets appreciation for their work it’s a really beautiful thing because often times it doesn’t come for most artists in the world. So, I don’t take it for granted. It does create opportunities. More people see your work. More people are willing to bet on you. This is a good example. Both Denis and Harrison believed in me. They had faith in me and felt I was capable that I can bring this part to life.

From being athletic in Fight Club, to losing weight for Dallas Buyers Club and then going blind for Blade Runner 2049, what part of your body haven’t you used yet?

Jared Leto: Oh my God! My comedic muscles. To do something funny would be a blast.

Do you think you have the funny bones?

Jared Leto: No. I’m the least funniest person you have met in your life. That’s when I’ll start actor. Fake it till I make it. (laughs)

What do you make of the news that you’re back as the Joker in multiple films?

Jared Leto: There’s so much bullshit in the world, it’s hard to pay attention; and I’m not just talking about the entertainment world. People can’t even tell the truth anymore. It’s incredible. It’s astounding that there’s such prevalence to that, but as far as the Joker goes, it was the role of a lifetime. I enjoyed it and it was something I’ll never forget.

Where are you now with 30 Seconds to Mars?

Jared Leto: We just put a new single out, called Walk on Water. It’s the fastest growing single we ever had. It’s at No. 5 today just after a few weeks. We’ve been touring around and we’ll be putting out an album pretty soon. We will also announce a world tour as well pretty soon. It’s exciting times. It’s been 4 1/2 years since we put some music out. I’m still beat from that show but it was about 100,000 people there and the audience was absolutely insane.

With there’s no music and no film to work on, how do stay humble?

Jared Leto: There’s a lot to keep y0u humble. I don’t understand the opposite. I think the more success I have the more humility I feel. You recognize what a special thing it is, what a temporary thing it is and how fleeting the moments of success are. You invest in the small successes. Those are beautiful too. When you finish the second verse of a song or when you master your album, or on set something really worked, or you discovered the voice for a new character, those are beautiful moments too; not just the big successes. The longer you stick around, the more humility that comes for all of those reasons.

Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters on October 6, 2017.

Official Trailer

Trailer 2

“Black Out 2022” Anime Short

“2036: Nexus Dawn” Short

“2048: Nowhere to Run” Short

Clip – Bigger Than You

Featurette – Time To Live

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