Out of all the major Hollywood power players, Jared Leto does seem like the most likely candidate to befriend a disgraced Silicon Valley healthcare startup CEO. Still, it’s pretty trippy to hear him discuss his relationship with Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
To be precise, Leto was pals with Holmes before she was disgraced, as he told Amanda Seyfried during their Variety Actors on Actors conversation. Seyfried, as Holmes, name-dropped Leto in an episode of The Dropout in which the CEO brags about receiving an award from the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman.
“I had heard her speak, before that, on stage. She was incredibly smart, and I met her after that. I liked her a lot,” Leto said, recalling his real-life interactions with Holmes. “She was really sweet, really kind, and no indication that things weren’t great in her life and at the company. And then I gave her an award.”
“We stayed in touch after that and talked a few times,” Leto added later. “But my experience with her was always quite nice and lovely, and I think what’s interesting about bringing a character to life—not everyone is one thing.”
Leto would know, as he’s not only an actor but also a rockstar and sometime cult leader. But his firsthand experience with Holmes actually seemed to make Seyfried a bit jealous: “As an actor, I care about my character. I’m there with her, as much as I can be, as an actor, outside of her world, having nothing to do with her. I’m kind of in awe of anyone who’s spent time with her, because she’ll always be far removed from me. Because we were not allowed to meet.”
Leto, who played fellow fallen business leader Adam Neumann in WeCrashed, replied, “Yeah, I kind of had a similar situation where I wasn’t allowed to meet, but I did anyway.” Ever the rule breaker, Jared Leto. He’s willing to share the wealth, though, despite no longer being in touch with Holmes: “Do you want me to pass your number along or something? I could.”
“It’s not the time,” Seyfried decided. Ah well. Maybe someday they can all have a very odd meeting of the minds.