It has been a really, really great year for movies, from recent films like Gravity and 12 Years A Slave to smaller indies such as Before Midnight and Short Term 12, but few movies have touched and moved us as much as the brilliant Dallas Buyers Club, which will hit select theaters November 1. And, a big part of that has to do with the remarkable, finely nuanced and, it really must be said, fierce performance of Jared Leto as Rayon, a transgender drug addict suffering from AIDS. It is one of, if not the, best performances of the year, or any year for that matter.
Based on a true story, Buyers Club tells the story of Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey), a staunchly heterosexual cowboy living in Texas who finds out that he has contracted HIV and has 30 days to live. Not willing to accept this, Woodruff quickly began traveling the world to find alternative treatments and medications that had yet to be approved stateside, distributing them to thousands infected with the virus through a Buyers Club, groups that popped up in major cities in the eighties to provide AIDS-related therapies not yet available in the US. Along the way he befriends a kind doctor (Jennifer Garner), a mean doctor (Denis O’Hare, who is always the best at playing the villain) and Rayon (Leto), who quickly becomes a partner in the Buyers Club after one of the film’s more memorable scenes.
Now Jared, who we all fell in love with as the brooding and hot, though sadly illiterate, Jordan Catalano on My So Called Life, has been on a five year hiatus from the film world ever since he wrapped production on the very good, but little seen, Mr. Nobody, choosing to spend the past few years touring and recording with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars. Well, a kind of hiatus, as in that time he did direct the documentary Artifact, a critically lauded and award winning look at the struggles faced by many in the music industry, including his own band, when it comes to artistic integrity.
And so, with his much anticipated return to the big screen only weeks away, and the very real possibility that Mr. Leto may deservedly be walking home with an Oscar early next year, he is doing the press rounds, something we feel certain he must really, really not love.
So check him out up top as he stops by Conan and tells Mr. O’Brien all about playing the transgender Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, and why he is unable to actually watch any of his films, or clips for that matter, as seen in the above image from the interview.
Then, have a good cry and watch the Dallas Buyers Club trailer below.