Jared Leto Is Ready to Return to Acting
After spending most of last year on tour with his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, the Oscar winner teases his next role and explains his love of timepieces in THR's Watches issue
Jared Leto didn't spend a lot of time checking his watch at the Oscars this year. "It was such a f--ing crazy time; it's all such a blur," he says. But the actor-singer recalls that awards season was when he first began thinking about timepieces -- and time itself -- in a serious way. Something about winning that best supporting actor trophy for his turn opposite Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club -- and getting styled with high end watches from the likes of Piaget and Harry Winston for the red carpet -- must have put him in a philosophical mood. "I think time is a way to have some sense of understanding and control in a universe filled with chaos," he muses. "There's a lofty, big conversation to have about time and the way we measure it and the tools we use to do that."
Keeping track of the hours is important to Leto, 42, for more practical reasons as well. He has been wildly busy since winning his Oscar -- although not with acting. Putting his film career on hold, he has spent much of last year on a world tour with his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, a hard art-rock group that includes Leto's older brother, Shannon. After stops in Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Bangkok, Tokyo and Sydney, among other cities, the tour continues through April with gigs in Johannesburg, Moscow and Minsk, Belarus. "The more you travel the planet, the more you realize we all have so much in common," he says. While jetting around the globe with his band, Leto managed to find time to design his own series of plastic quartz wristwatches, including one featuring the Thirty Seconds to Mars' triad symbol ("It has to do with energy, with creativity," he says cryptically), which are sold on the group's website.
Of course, Leto hasn't abandoned acting altogether and hints that he may have zeroed in on his next major role. Rumors on the Internet suggest it could be the Joker in a big-screen version of the DC comic Suicide Squad. "I've sworn to keep my mouth shut" is all he will say.
The watch he wore to the Oscars, by the way, was a $20,000 18-karat white-gold Piaget Altiplano 40mm with a 22-karat rose-gold oscillating weight. Says Leto, "It's my lucky watch now!"
4 VIRTUES JARED LETO SEES IN GREAT WATCHES
1. They're a form of self-expression
"Frank Lloyd Wright. Ansel Adams. Jeff Koons. Dieter Rams. The thread that runs through all is an impeccable sense of design and craftsmanship. Watches are many times the best designed and crafted objects in people's lives. And a chance to express a bit about who they are -- or aren't."
2. They don't ring
"With smartphones, one could have argued watches were all but finished. But it didn't happen. And it won't. I think there is even greater value for highly crafted, meticulously designed products than ever before."
3. They're fashion with a function
"Very few wearable products that have engineering tech and fashion rolled into one have stood the test of time. It's fascinating that watches have remained such an important part of so many people's lives."
4. They help make sense of a senseless universe
"This may be a bit heady, but I think time is one of the gauges by which we try to understand, control, perceive our passage through life. There is something about harnessing time that's essential to who we are. Since the day of the sundial, we have had a need to understand the passage of time, and there has been great power in that."
This story first appeared in a special Watches issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.