Jared Leto doesn’t know how not to take things to the extreme. He’s taken his method acting to alarming measures, like living on the streets in New York City to prepare for Requiem For A Dream; creepily gifting his Suicide Squad costars anal beads, condoms, and a mouse; and blinding himself with special lenses while playing Niander Wallace on Blade Runner 2049.
But it appears that Leto took things too far in order to play living vampire, Morbius. In an interview with Uproxx, Morbius director Daniel Espinosa confirmed the rumor that Leto was so committed to playing a disabled character that he would use crutches and limp his way to the bathroom whenever he had to go, so production had to convince the actor to use a wheelchair to speed up the process.
Espinosa tries to shine light into Leto’s decision, saying, “Because I think that what Jared thinks, what Jared believes, is that somehow the pain of those movements, even when he was playing normal Michael Morbius, he needed, because he’s been having this pain his whole life. Even though, as he’s alive and strong, it has to be a difference. Hey, man, it’s people’s processes.”
He adds, “All of the actors believe in processes. And you, as director, you support whatever makes it as good as you can be.”
When writer Mike Ryan notes that it must be frustrating when antics like that slow down production, Espinosa still defends Leto’s decision. “It’s more that I think the directors that don’t like actors get really frustrated about that. I think it’s really mysterious, what they do,” he responds. “Almost all actors, in general, have their own reputation of being an interesting person how he works with their characters. I think that all of them have these traits. If you want a completely normal person that does only things that you understand, then you’re in the wrong business.”
He continues, “It’s very hard to be able to say, “I can take this part away and I will still get the same stuff from him.’ I don’t do that. I’m more to see like, “Hey, if you’re doing this, we have to do this.”
Espinosa also talks about Leto’s problematic method acting in an interview with Movie Maker, where he says the actor would arrive to set acting like a “fully disabled person.” He says, “It would take him like 20 minutes to come to the front of the camera, because it was so hard [to walk]. This would also create pains in his body, to twist himself like that. But it was for him to remember the pain that the character had.”