Jared Leto, key man bun influencer and eyebrow sacrificer, has posed nude for Terry Richardson and won an Oscar for his role as a transgendered HIV patient in “Dallas Buyers Club.” And he’s ready to challenge society’s norms of masculinity, starting with Hollywood.
In an interview for the latest issue of GQ Style, Leto talks about how his latest role as The Joker in “Suicide Squad” has taken him to leading man status, and how he doesn’t fit that old Hollywood norm.
When GQ Style pointed out Leto’s androgynous style and asked about how he differs from the Chris Pratts of his realm, Leto responded:
“We’re in an interesting time right now where people are exploring all kinds of different ideas of identity, not just masculinity or femininity. Maybe a whole new paradigm. I think that’s great. Because a lot of people probably are marginalized still, and finding a sense of identity is critical to empowering people. For myself, I have never had a specific idea of masculinity. I think it’s okay just to be yourself and whatever that entails. You know, I’ve certainly never felt required to present myself in a certain way... They call it a ‘leading man.’ Some of my favorite actors, you could put into a bucket of being a ‘masculine leading man.’ And I think there’s room for everything. And a lot of times you’re just hearing echoes of other people’s insecurities—of how they think things should be.”
For Leto, the term “leading man” is “just a colloquialism for someone who’s starring in a movie,” he said. “A guy who carries the film. Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford or Denzel Washington, leading man. You know?”
We all love Hanks, but as long as producers keep giving guys like Leto leading roles, hopefully the shift will continue.
Read the full interview here, or in the Fall 2016 issue of GQ Style: