Elijah Wood says he’s still scratching his head over an incident in which an angry Jared Leto grabbed him at the MTVU Woodie Awards in New York.
Wood tells Jane magazine in its February issue that the confrontation, which happened in October, was sparked by comments he had made about Leto’s rock band, 30 Seconds to Mars.
“He was basically upset at the fact that I said I didn’t like his band,” Wood says. “He said that initially and then walked away.”
But things escalated from there. “I guess he thought I was laughing at him,” Wood says, “but I was more shell-shocked and telling people around me, ‘Whoa, I just got told off by Jared Leto for not liking his band.’ And that’s when he came back and grabbed me.”
In the January/February 2003 issue of Blender, the Lord of the Rings actor told an interviewer, “I would never try to be like other actors and attempt to make (music) myself. I mean, have you heard 30 Seconds to Mars? … F—ing awful, man!”
Wood, who turns 26 on Sunday, tells Jane he never meant to insult Leto, 35, and that the whole incident at the awards show felt surreal.
“I told Jared it wasn’t personal,” Wood says. “He acted like I’d been disrespecting him or speaking about his family. Things like that don’t generally happen to me. I’m very non-confrontational. The whole thing was kind of ridiculous.”
Several Web sites, including BestWeekEver.tv and Dlisted, printed eye-witness accounts of the scuffle at the time it happened.
The awards show was filmed at Roseland Ballroom in New York City on Oct. 25 and aired on MTVU – MTV’s college network – on Nov. 2. The Woodies honor musical acts voted on by the college audience.