Belfast Telegraph

Jared recalls friend's death

Jared Leto has spoken about how deeply he was affected by the death of a friend with AIDS.

The actor portrays a transsexual in upcoming movie Dallas Buyers Club, which is based on a true story. It also stars Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodruff, who contracted HIV in the '80s and smuggled drugs to treat himself into America from Mexico.

Jared has been promoting the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is when he opened up about his experience when he moved to Los Angeles in 1991.

"I rented a room in a three-bedroom apartment and one of the rooms was rented by a man who was dying [of AIDS]," he told

"I was there during his final days. I didn't remember that until I was in the middle of the film and it hit me. I couldn't believe I had this experience with this man who was incredibly gentle. It was actually in the first week of filming that I recalled this and it really affected me in a deep way… He was a wonderful person."

Jared's transformation for the movie has been well-documented. He dropped 30lbs. incredibly quickly, taking him down to around 116lbs., and was seen looking gaunt in full make-up on set.

The star hopes people will think more about the character and not just his appearance when the picture first hits screens later this year.

"I didn't look in the mirror very much, except in the make-up trailer when they were going to work on me, which seemed like it was always hours and hours of work. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to put it together. It was unlike anything I had ever done before," he said.

"I feel like we've seen so much of that, the drag queen who is always the life of the party and always has a quick one-liner. I wanted there to be more than that."

This was Jared's first role in five years and he agreed to take the part after hearing Matthew was involved as he has been so impressed with the star's recent work. Jared is "inspired" by Matthew and was keen to learn from him on set.

"If he's willing to walk down this path, I have to get in the ring with him. That's someone I have to dance with, am I right? I mean Christ..." Jared is quoted as saying by Us Weekly.

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From Belfast Telegraph