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Try to Contain Your Surprise That Jared Leto Went Way Over the Top on the Blade Runner 2049 Set

Image: WB
Image: WB

By his own admission, nothing Jared Leto did on set for Blade Runner 2049 was anywhere near as extreme as stuff he has done in the past. However, did Leto have special contacts made so that he wouldn’t have the use of his eyes for the duration of filming? Yes. Yes, he did. Of course he did.


This joke has been made before. In fact, we’ve made it before. But if Jared Leto’s biography isn’t titled Try Acting, Dear Boy, It’s Much Easier, it should be. That semi-apocryphal story is the only thing you can think of every time anything about Leto’s onset antics comes out, including this instance.

According to a profile of Leto in WSJ Magazinewhich, for the sake of your own sanity, I do not recommend you read—Leto had opaque contact lenses in for his entire time as Niander Wallace, a creepy maker of replicants. Director Denis Villeneuve described it:

He entered the room, and he could not see at all. He was walking with an assistant, very slowly. It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple. Everybody became super silent, and there was a kind of sacred moment. Everyone was in awe. It was so beautiful and powerful—I was moved to tears. And that was just a camera test!


I’m sure it was. I’m equally sure it was absolutely annoying and highly unlikely to be necessary. But at least this time his method BS didn’t impact anyone else’s life. No one got sent horrible packages or were required to deal with him actually harassing them (that we know of so far).

Leto added that he “didn’t dive as deep down the rabbit hole as maybe I’ve done before, but I stayed really focused.” Maybe he’s becoming just self-aware enough to not be an insufferable pain on set. We’ll just have to see. Somehow, I doubt this is the only story from that set we’ll be hearing.

Katharine is the former managing editor of io9.

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Why do you have such an issue with his method acting? It’s his process and many actors do similar things. Something wrong with a professional being passionate about his craft?

Acting isn’t easy and getting the performance right takes a lot of time and effort in terms of understanding and investing in the characters you play. Everyone approaches it differently.