Jared Leto and John David Washington discuss their successful careers in the latest Variety Actors on Actors interview.
Leto tells Washington of why he avoided starring in movies when he was younger: “As I’ve gotten older, I consider being a little less precious about things. I remember in the beginning, I actually said no to quite a lot.
“I was maybe naive in some respects, but I said no to quite a lot for many years. Starring in movies was something I avoided for a really long time, because I felt like I wasn’t ready.”
Washington was a star running back at Morehouse College in Atlanta before he ended up popping his Achilles tendon in 2013 in what would turn out to be a life-changing event.
He says of being a “leading man” and working with Spike Lee and Christopher Nolan: “I connect totally to that feeling of ‘I’m not sure I’m ready for this leading man thing.’
“But this is a dream scenario to be able to work with Spike Lee or Christopher Nolan. They don’t have to prove anything, but they still feel like they do. That’s infectious. We all have something to prove, even though we’re sitting with a $200 million budget. That left quite an impression on me. Maybe because I was an athlete and I understand the team concept.”
Leto goes on to say how he hasn’t rehearsed for a movie in 10 years, telling Washington: “I don’t have a rule against it, but usually I’m ready to go.”
He adds of the least enjoyable and best parts of making a movie: “Shooting the movie is the least enjoyable part for me. The two best parts of making movies is getting the job and finishing the job.
“I like the character build, the discovery. I actually like the time that I spend investigating. I think I just put too much pressure on myself.”
Leto then says of why he refuses to watch his performances: “I don’t watch myself at all. I saw still images from ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, but I’ve never seen a scene or a playback. I had a lot less anxiety when I didn’t do it.”
He shares, “Making movies can be so stressful. I get worried a lot about being good enough. I’ve been trying to practice not being so attached to the outcome of things and really just doing the best I can. Not good enough? Well, tough s**t. What are you going to do?”