Keeping it real: Jared Leto

We quiz the actor, director and Thirty Seconds To Mars singer on life in the real world

Never let it be said that Jared Leto is a man to rest on his teenage heart-throb credentials. When the ‘My So-Called Life’ star isn’t acting or making documentaries he’s the lead singer with world-famous stadium neo-grungers Thirty Seconds To Mars. With their fourth studio album, ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’, set for release on May 20, we met up with the ‘Fight Club’ pretty boy to find out if he’s still the sort of guy who will carry your text books to class.

Can you name the four ‘American Idol’ judges this year?
‘Absolutely not. Next question.’

Er… okay. Let’s go more highbrow. Yours is quite a political band: have you ever met Obama?
‘Yes. He’s great. He’s wonderful. There’s a reason why he’s the president. He came to a Thirty Seconds To Mars show. I looked down and he was in the front row.’

I was going to ask who’s the most famous person in your phone book, but I think I know the answer now…
‘I don’t really have this collection of famous friends. I’m usually working in a cave, editing or directing. I’m involved and invested in the process. That’s what’s exciting to me. That’s where I like to be.’

What’s the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
‘I’m kind of a boots, jeans and shirt guy. If I accumulate clothes I give them away. If you work for me I’ll walk in the room and drop a T-shirt or a jacket or something on you. I don’t really have that possessive gene. I’m not very precious about my stuff.’

You must splurge on some things?
‘I think the most expensive thing that I own is “Artifact” – the documentary that I made and paid for myself. It’s a film about the making of our last album and the battle with our record company. They sued us for $30 million, we fought them for two years and filmed it all. It’s about art and commerce and this bizarre industry.’

When was the last time you watched yourself in a movie?
‘I’d never go back and watch my old films. Not in a million years. It’s kind of like playing with yourself and looking in the mirror. It works for some people but not for others.’

And the ultimate test of stardom – has Bono ever sat you down and given you some words of wisdom?
‘Yes he has! He said that it’s important to start from a place of instability, which I think is actually rather nice and interesting. I think those were good words. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of things.’

The verdict?

Despite the intergalactic music, Leto’s trying to stay on planet Earth.

Watch Thirty Seconds To Mars's 'Up in the Air' video

Listen to Thirty Seconds On Mars

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