Jared Leto Talks Drug Past, Explains Why He’s Still Not Married

Jared Leto Chats About Playing the Joker for 'Suicide Squad'
The Oscar winner speaks about the challenges of reinventing the iconic villain.

Jared Leto is a man of many things. In his latest profile in Rolling Stone, the Oscar winner opens up about his various gigs — including his role in Suicide Squad and the frontman to Thirty Second to Mars — and his past, present, and future.

Here are 10 things we learned about Leto.

On drugs…

“There’s all kinds of ways to change your state of mind or to get out of yourself,” he says. Like, with the occasional psychedelic? “No, only at Burning Man. Only if I’m having an orgy at Burning Man will I take that.”

On his experiences with drugs…

“My experience with drugs?” he says. “I did them, lots of them. A lot of them were really fun. There are just those few that tend to kick you in the ass. I guess at some point, too, there’s a decision: Is this going to be my life? I made a choice to pursue other dreams. I guess that’s just the kind of fucked thing about a lot of drugs: The opportunity cost is too high. Some drugs are incredible, but the risk versus reward is out of line. I just saw too many examples of what not to do.”

On preparing for his role as a junkie in 2000’s Requiem for a Dream

“[Street junkies[ would shoot up dope and I would shoot up water,” he says. “People would be uncomfortable if they’re all shooting up and you’re not. I wasn’t sharing a needle. To shoot up anything is intense. That was a long time ago. I wouldn’t do that again.”

On Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight

“Heath did an impeccable, perfect performance as the Joker,” says Leto. “It’s one of the best performances ever in cinema. I had met Heath before. I didn’t know him well, but he was a beautiful person.”

On researching for his role as The Joker in Suicide Squad

“The Joker is incredibly comfortable with acts of violence,” says Leto. “I was watching real violence, consuming that. There’s a lot you can learn from seeing it. Not every act of violence is committed with frenzy, either. I remember learning that. People can be calm. They’ve made their choice and go and do something, and it’s not in a frenzy.”

jared-leto-rolling-stone
CREDIT: Rolling Stone

On why he’s vague about his past…

“I lied about it so much, I don’t know what the truth is,” he claims. “I remember River Phoenix saying in an interview that he tried to lie as much as possible, and I just took that approach ever since.”

On his previous brushes with the law as a kid…

“I was always really fast,” he says. “I guess there were some undercover cops at one store, and they came out running after us. My friend ran out of steam and kind of slowed down. They grabbed him and threw him to the ground, and I just kept running. There are few greater feelings in the world than running from the police and getting away.”

On playing Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life

“Let’s face it, I barely spoke! I have a lot of gratitude for starting there, but they made such a big deal of the character in the show. I think for some people, especially girls at that time, it mirrored something in their lives. I don’t know. It did make an impact for people, but it’s always been so imbalanced with what the experience was for me in my own life.”

On dating…

“Even if I was in a relationship or maybe if I was having kids, I don’t know if I would share that information publicly,” he says, later adding, “You know what I’ve learned about women? I know absolutely nothing about women.”

On why he’s still a bachelor…

“It’s just how things are,” he says. “I don’t think there’s a definitive decision that I’ve made.”