Nomination: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Dallas Buyers Club (2014)
Jared Leto is nominated at the Oscars this year for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category. He was first trained in the visual arts before getting into the performing arts. He attended three art schools, beginning with the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., where he studied painting. He went to two other art schools after that, ended up in New York City, and then dropped out during his third year of school.
In an interview with James Franco, Leto elaborated on his painting work, art movements he's interested in, and other artistic mediums he has explored:
I was doing conceptual work. I was really into abstract and contemporary art. I always loved pop art as well. Then I fell in love with photography and filmmaking. I was also studying sculpture and exploring a lot of different things, as you do when you're a student. But I ended up focusing on film during my third year. Not so much traditional, narrative film—more art film and video art. But then I dropped out because I thought I would have a better chance at directing a film if I got a job as an actor first. So that's one of the reasons why I headed west with a backpack and a couple hundred bucks in my pocket. I went to California and ended up sleeping on the beach in Venice, and that was really the beginning for me. But I come from a visual background, and I grew up around a lot of hippies and artists. My mom and my brother and I moved around a lot. We basically moved every couple of years, and I went to a lot of different schools. But creativity, for us, was always a way of life. It was never a job. Being an artist was a passion and a way of life.