Entertainment And News

5 Times Jared Leto Took Method Acting Too Far & Why Actors Are Beginning To Speak Out Against It

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Tinseltown / Shutterstock
Will Poulter, Mads Mikkelsen, Jared Leto

As more details emerge about Jared Leto's antics on the set of "Morbius," actors are beginning to speak out against method acting.

Leto is well documented to practice method acting, a practice in which actors will remain in character and behave as their characters for the duration of filming a movie or TV show.

As a well-known method actor, Leto has received his fair share of criticism over the years for the practice. 

One outspoken critic of method acting is Will Poulter, who recently said of the process, “if your process creates an inhospitable environment, then to me you've lost sight of what's important. Method acting shouldn't be used as an excuse for inappropriate behavior—and it definitely has.”

Another, perhaps, less eloquent criticism came from Mads Mikkelsen, who, when asked about method acting in an interview, simply said, “It’s bulls***.”

Here are three times that Jared Leto took method acting too far.

1. Jared Leto has gone through drastic weight changes for his roles.

Leto is well known to have shed weight for many of his roles, including “Requiem for a Dream” and “Dallas Buyers Club” in which Leto lost an astounding 28 and 30 pounds for each of those roles.

RELATED: 8 Movie And TV Scenes Actors Regret Filming

While a lot of people see these decisions as extreme and method acting gone too far on their own, there was another weight-related incident in Leto’s career that even he regrets.

2. Jared Leto suffered health problems after filming "Chapter 27."

Jared Leto managed to gain 67 pounds for his role as Mark David Chapman in the 2007 movie “Chapter 27.”

The method actor is well known for his dedication to his roles, but this weight gain went way farther than anyone anticipated. Leto gained so much weight so fast that he developed gout and reportedly couldn’t walk for more than short distances without needing to stop.

After the role, Leto himself admitted, “Really, it's a stupid thing to do.”

3. Jared Leto allegedly sent Margot Robbie a rat while filming “Suicide Squad.”

Leto reportedly spent the filming of the movie, in which he played The Joker, court Robbie, who played Harley Quinn, in strange ways.

Their co-star, Viola Davis, claimed Leto even sent Robbie a pet rat at one point.

“I was saying loudly, ‘Don’t open the box!’ I was halfway out the door when [Robbie] opened the box,” Davis told British Vogue. “And saw the biggest black rat you could imagine. Then … she cooed at it. No fear. Open. Receptive. Full of joy.”

Leto has denied the allegation.

4. Jared Leto admitted to sending anal beads, used condoms, and other gifts to fellow “Suicide Squad” cast members.

Despite later denying the story about the rat, Leto had previously confirmed that he sent a number of other appalling items to people on set.

Leto’s scenes in the movie are almost entirely separate from the rest of the ensemble cast so there was little reason for him to even interact with his co-stars but he sent the items to play into his character’s behavior.

The gifts also included bullets, a hog and sticky copies of Playboy magazine — you can derive your own assumptions from that one.

RELATED: Who Is Jared Leto's Brother? Shannon Leto Dating Cara Santana

Leto walked back on these comments in 2021 after widespread criticism. 

"Any of the very few gifts that were ever given were given with a spirit of fun and adventure and received with laughter, fun, and adventure," he claimed.

5. Jared Leto pretended to be disabled while filming Morbius.

Leto played a scientist that was suffering from a blood disease that left the character weak in the 2022 movie, “Morbius.” As with his other roles, Leto sought to get as close to the experience of the character he portrayed as possible.

The method actor insisted on using crutches to get around, just like his character did. While, on the surface, this might seem innocuous, somewhat uncomfortable for Leto maybe, it proved to be much more of a problem than anyone anticipated.

Leto started to slowly crutch/limp even when going to the bathroom.

The method actor’s antics literally slowed down the entire production and the director of the film reportedly had to make a deal with Leto to have him wheeled in a wheelchair when possible just to speed things up.

While Leto’s method acting may have contributed to many of his crowd-pleasing, award-winning performances over the years, his antics have been a bit more hit or miss with his castmates and productions.

RELATED: Fans Raise Concerns About Jared Leto’s Self-Described Cult Retreat That Is Coming Back This Summer

Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.