Director Denis Villeneuve explains how the Oscar winner went method to play the movie's villain
More than a year after he first terrified his Suicide Squad costars by sending them used condoms, a pig corpse, and live rats, Jared Leto is once again making headlines for his method acting. For his upcoming role as the blind villain Niander Wallace in Blade Runner 2049, Leto had to wear blind contact lenses on set. But he didn’t stop there.
“We all heard stories about Jared, how he transforms into the characters, but even this didn’t prepare me for what was to come,” Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve told the Wall Street Journal. “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!”
You can see what Villeneuve’s talking about in a Blade Runner 2049 prequel short released in August. Watch that below.
The last time Leto got really into method acting, for last year’s Suicide Squad, he drew both controversy and eye-rolls. The actor told the Wall Street Journal he didn’t get quite as intense this time: “I didn’t dive as deep down the rabbit hole as maybe I’ve done before, but I stayed really focused. I’m crazy, but I’m not insane.”
Leto is not the first actor to pretend to be blind, of course. Game of Thrones fans will remember that Maisie Williams had to wear similar contacts when her character Arya Stark was temporarily robbed of eyesight back in season 6. When asked about the experience by EW’s James Hibberd, Williams said the blind contacts were “the most painful things ever.”
Blade Runner 2049 — also starring Harrison Ford (reprising his Rick Deckard role), Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, and Dave Bautista — opens Oct. 6.