Jared Leto – Before He Was Famous

Before They Were Famous

Jared Leto – Before He Was Famous

Before Jared Leto would make a breakthrough in his acting career with his role as Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life.

Before he would earn a Screen Actors Guild award, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for his performance as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club.

Before became the lead singer of alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars.

Before he would be cast as the next Joker in the 2016 Suicide Squad.

Jared’s father walked out on the family when he was very young. So, his hippie Air Force mother was left to raise him and his brother on her own, and money was tight. Though there were bumps in the road, Jared eventually graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a desire to take up acting as a career. He picked up a couple of small roles after school while working on music as well, until eventually he got his big break in the form of a role on ABC’s My So Called Life.

Jared Joseph Leto was born in Bossier City, Louisiana on December 26, 1971 to his mother Constance Metrejon and his father Anthony Bryant. He is of Cajun, English, Irish, German, and Scottish descent. When Jared was a young child, his parents divorced, and he, his older brother Shannon, and his mother moved in with his maternal grandparents, William Metrejon and Ruby Russell. His father eventually remarried when he was eight years old, but soon after committed suicide. His mother also remarried, to a man named Carl Leto, which is where Jared’s surname is from. This marriage also did not last, which was a huge foreshadow to Jared’s own engagement and subsequent breakup with actress Cameron Diaz later on in life. 

Because his mother was in the Air Force, the family had to move around a lot, living in several states such as Colorado, Virginia, and Wyoming. She was a hugely creative woman who was interested in all things about the hippie movement, so she encouraged her kids to get involved with the arts. Even though money was tight in the family, Constance tried to give her sons every opportunity she could for them to get creative exposure. Jared says he was raised around many different musicians, painters, and actors who inspired him, and he and his brother began music when they were both still young. Jared’s first instrument was a beat-up piano.

Because of all the moving around, school wasn’t the easiest for Jared. He dropped out for a short time in the tenth grade, but continued his education at Emerson Prep in Washington DC, and then graduated from Flint Hill in Virginia. Because he had a love of art ingrained in him by his mother, he went on to enroll in visual arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, but later switched to the School of Visual Arts in New York City to study film, with the goal of eventually becoming a director.

While he was in college, Leto wrote and starred in his own short film, called Crying Joy. This was when he knew he wanted to do something with acting, so when he was done school in 1992 he moved to none other than Los Angeles to make those dreams come true.

He actually started off by pursuing a musical career, while taking acting jobs on the side. He went to several auditions and managed to snag quite a few small roles to get his foot in the door. These included appearances on the TV shows Camp Wilder in 1992, Almost Home in 1993, and Rebel Highway in 1994. Leto really wanted to get into film acting, but it was a tough and competitive field for an unknown actor. Finally, with one more TV audition, everything changed.

It was 1994 when Jared was chosen to play the role of Jordan Catalano on ABC’s show My So Called Life, a show about the challenges of adolescence. Jared played the dyslexic and handsome love interest of Claire Dane’s character Angela. Leto also contributed to the soundtrack of the show, which impressed the producers and caused them to turn his role into a regular. Despite only being on for one season, My So Called Life developed a huge cult following, and most of the fans were crazy for Leto.

And I mean crazy; they even sent him such wonderful gifts such as a box of pubic hair and a severed ear, which he later made into a necklace!

Shortly after he was launched into the spotlight, he got his first film role in 1995’s How to Make an American Quilt. 

And the rest of the story, you know the story because this is Before They Were Famous


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