Readers' Poll: Jared Leto's 10 Best Roles - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: Jared Leto’s 10 Best Roles

See which characters beat Jordan Catalano and Angel Face

Jared Leto's appearance in Suicide Squad has been previewed ever since he entered the film's set, and even though the film didn't quite live up to fan or critical expectations, his performance did live up to the terror promised from the trailers and much-discussed on-set antics. 

Leto's growth as an actor over the last two decades has been immense, washing away an early heartthrob career to become one of Hollywood's leading method actors who fully immerses him into the worlds of his often troubled characters. Ahead of Suicide Squad's release, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite Jared Leto roles. Here are the results.


Toby Jacobs, ‘Girl, Interrupted’

Winona Ryder's Susanna Kaysen is checked into a hospital following her suicide attempt, and when her boyfriend Toby visits her, he tries to make her run away and flee to Canada with him. Though his intentions are good, Toby insults Susanna's new friends, offending her in the process by calling them "crazy." Though Leto's role in the film is small, the character of Toby and Susanna's rejection of him plays an integral part in the development of Girl, Interrupted's main character.


Junior, ‘Panic Room’

As Junior, Leto initiated a heist to steal bearer bonds from his grandfather's house in Panic Room, which puts a mother and daughter who have moved into the home — played by Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart — at risk. What was supposed to be a simple heist in an empty home turns into turmoil and violence as Junior's team — played by Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam — turns on one another. 


Vitally Orlov, ‘Lord of War’

Vitally Orlov was the brother of arms dealer Yuri Orlov, portrayed by Nicholas Cage. Over the course of the film, Vitally joins his brother's criminal activity, becomes addicted to cocaine and sacrifices himself to save a group of refugees. The film ended up being endorsed by Amnesty International for highlighting arms trafficking. 


Steve Prefontaine, ‘Prefontaine’

In an early starring role, Leto portrayed Steve Prefontaine, an Olympic runner who tragically died at age 24 from crashing his vehicle after driving drunk. The 1997 feature won Leto praise for his nuanced take on the runner; Leto found himself training and meeting with family and friends of the athlete in preparation for his part.


Hephaistion, ‘Alexander’

Alongside Colin Farrell's Alexander, Leto channeled the loyalty, intimacy and love Hephaistion felt for Alexander, and vice versa. He even found a perfect foe in Rosario Dawson's fierce Roxana who grows as jealous of her husband Alexander's loyal best friend as Hephaistion becomes when his friend decides to take a wife. Unfortunately Leto's heavy eyeliner couldn't save the film from being a box office flop and critical miss.


Angel Face, ‘Fight Club’

Angel Face is in Fight Club long enough to be "beautiful" and beaten: Leto's platinum blonde character is one of the first to join Tyler Durden's Project Mayhem. Upon receiving favoritism from Durden, Edward Norton's Narrator becomes jealous and sets out to "destroy something beautiful," punching Angel Face's angelic face until it's unrecognizable during a brutal fight.


Jordan Catalano, ‘My So-Called Life’

Jordan Catalano is an iconic part of the teen drama canon, even though playing the character took up a very short portion of Leto's life and career. My So-Called Life, now a cult favorite, was a short-lived Nineties drama about teenagers forming their identities, specifically those who are part of Angela Chase's circle of friends. As the sweet bad boy Jordan, Leto became a heartthrob as he attempted to capture Angela's attention.


Nemo Nobody, ‘Mr. Nobody’

Leto ranges wide in ages and life plans as Nemo Nobody. In the film, he portrays a 118-year-old man in a world where humans are now immortal. Nemo is the last mortal human, and as he inches toward death, he reflects on his actual life and all the possible outcomes for his different choices. The thrilling science-fiction drama received critical praise, especially for Leto's portrayal as Nemo at ages 34 and 118. 


Harry Goldfarb, ‘Requiem for a Dream’

Requiem for a Dream proved to be a turning point in Leto's career, steering him from minor, supporting roles in cult classics to a mature actor who could truly channel his emotional depth on screen. As Harry Goldfarb, the heroin-addicted son of an amphetamine-addicted widow, Leto's body and acting range were put through the ringer as Goldfarb sunk deeper into addiction, reaching the lowest possible points a person can achieve. To prepare, he lived on the streets with addicts and spent months starving himself to lose weight.


Rayon, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

No wonder Leto won his first and, so far, only Academy Award for his portrayal of Rayon. The method actor transformed into the drug-addicted, HIV-positive trans woman whom Matthew McConaughey's Ron Woodroof befriends while hospitalized following his AIDs diagnosis. He immersed himself so fully into Rayon's world and body that the cast and crew did not even meet the real Leto for the entirety of filming. "He got me out of my comfort zone," the film's director Jean-Marc Vallée told Rolling Stone. "I didn't know how to address him or her because he was such a lady. He was such a girl, and he was sexy!"

In This Article: Jared Leto, Readers Poll

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