Jared Leto is tired of people talking about the lengths he goes to when preparing for roles.
The Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman stars as bad guy Niander Wallace in Blade Runner 2049, where he opted to wear contact lenses that made him completely blind — just like his character. But after rumors swirled around his antics while getting into character as the Joker for Suicide Squad last year, the Oscar winner is ready to stop talking about his method acting.
“I should just never talk about it cause I’m not doing it to talk about it — I’m doing it for me,” Leto, 45, tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. “One basic response I have is, ‘I’ll work the way I wanna work, you work the way you want to work. You don’t like it, you can kiss my ass.’ “
The actor says he understands it’s “titillating” for people to talk about his method, but stresses that some stories have been taken out of context, turning a harmless activity into something more sinister. He recently lashed out against reports that he had gifted his Suicide Squad costars used condoms on set.
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When it came time for the highly anticipated Blade Runner sequel, Leto decided to once again immerse himself — though he says it’s for a more simple reason than most think.
“If I was a better actor then maybe I wouldn’t have done it! I would’ve pretended — I would’ve acted,” the actor says before laughing. “I always try to act as little as possible, so whatever I can do to make a stronger reality for myself I generally try to do it.”
Leto would put the lenses on before even getting to set, meaning he never laid eyes on any of his costars — including Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. But when it came time to learn how to accurately portray a blind person, Leto turned to a special teacher.
“I had a young man named Chris in Los Angeles who lost his sight at a very young age and he was my teacher,” Leto says. “We actually modeled Niander’s eyes after Chris’s eyes, though Chris’s eyes are even more brilliant.”
Blade Runner 2049 is now out in theaters.