'Dallas Buyers Club': Jared Leto on acting without his 'armor'

Jared Leto talks about a significant scene in the film.

"Dallas Buyers Club" star Jared Leto has attracted lots of attention for his radical transformation as the transgender AIDS patient Rayon, a character most comfortable in miniskirts, stiletto heels and garish makeup. But Rayon's most striking outfit — minor spoiler alert — is an ordinary men's suit and tie, which she dons to meet her disapproving father.

At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series, Leto talked about the pivotal scene.


"The entire film I had heels and tights and lipstick and fake eyelashes and wigs and scarves and all kinds of accouterments," Leto said. "I had all kinds of things happening. And I was very concerned about that scene because I knew it was incredibly important, but I also knew I didn't have any of my armor. It was the only time in the film I dressed like a man."

He added, "When I put on the suit, I was so relieved that when I walked through the bank I didn't have to rediscover who [Rayon] was. I still moved, I still kind of glided across the floor as she would. And then when I did the first take, I blew it. It was terrible, I thought — not that actors know anything about their work."

Director Jean-Marc Vallee then chimed in, "We were all crying when he thought it was terrible."

Leto conceded that "it turned out to be a really beautiful moment. You know, do all this crazy work as an actor. Some of it you don't know why — you learn a ZZ Top song, you learn to play the guitar. But in all of that exploration, in all that great adventure … comes something beautiful."

For more from the cast and crew of "Dallas Buyers Club," watch the clip above and check back for daily updates.