1. JackFknTwist says

    Jared Leto always comes across as a very reasonable likeable guy.

    Of course he is a wonderful actor also….so calm and cool.

  2. joe says

    Andy Towle’s attempt to put a pro-Leto spin on this suggests that Towleroad may be more a celebrity-worship site than a pro-GLBT site. Andy should go and work for Huff Post.

  3. Mike in Houston says

    How does a matter-of-fact headline and transcript amount to “pro-Leto spin” Joe?

  4. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Leto was all class in the video. How could you not be pro-Leto after watching that?

  5. Scott says

    @JOE- nooooo…. Andy Towle’s “spin” is simply reporting the facts- an ally, a friend who portrayed a trans person beautifully was attacked for simply doing so. Remember when people wouldn’t do parts like this- because of being associated with gay/trans people/identity? Uh, yeah, not that long ago- in fact,it’s still going on.

    I believe in trans rights, and I think everyone can work on being kinder; however, I think the trans community, well, those who are level-headed and are very visible, should take note of ridiculous, non-scandals/non-issues that some trans activists have been trying to create.

    There is enough pain and discrimination against trans people today without trying to create more out of thin air, much less trying to do it on the backs of allies like Jared Leto.

    This goes for gay people, too- all minorities. It’s just smart PR. I realize there really isn’t a central figure-head for the trans community, but those who do hold any power or sway or visibility, need to exercise it over those activists who will only hurt their cause.

  6. Henry Holland says

    Because Mike, unless Andy gets out the written equivalent of pitchforks and torches and demands that Jared Leto be banned from ever working again, then to the Joe’s of the dreary LGBTQIAXYZ “community”, he’s a Leto Whore. The fact that the person that heckled him might be wrong is never to be questioned.

  7. Jack M says

    If you cranky girls don’t like what Andy does on this blog, why don’t you do a blog of your own? Time to take a Midol.

  8. Marshall says

    There is an issue with straight guys playing gay guys or trans people and winning awards. One day, I hope that more gay/trans people will be able to play themselves and win awards.

    Step back and think about all the major awards won by actors playing gays, for instance. Can you think of more than one who’s won significant awards or accolades for that film role?

  9. Michael Bedwell says

    Neither Sandra Bullock nor George Clooney are actually astronauts. As far as we know, Matthew McConnaughey doesn’t actually have AIDS. Bradley Cooper’s not an FBI agent. Meryl Streep is a wife and mother in real life as her character in “August: Osage County,” but can never be a male rabbi like she played in “Angels in America.” Shall we demand Linda Hunt take back her Oscar for playing a man in “The Year of Living Dangerously”? Or Tom Hanks’ Oscar for playing a gay man with AIDS in “Philadelphia” when he was neither? I don’t remember a single person seriously suggesting he had no right to play that character. While I totally support legal protections for those transgender including the right to serve openly in the military, thise current desperate meme by a lunatic few that only gays can play gays and only transgendered people can play transgendered is a ridiculous house of cards alienating rather than creating allies.

  10. John says

    I’m tired of these trans activists. They’re not accomplishing anything but getting everyone to hate them, including LGB people.

  11. Ryan says

    “trans Misogny” Is that something trans people made up? So this week they’ve gone after Gabby, Piers, and now Jared. Is there anyone trans people have not pissed off yet?

  12. Lymis says

    There is certainly a case that can be made for there being few enough acting roles for minority actors that deliberately choosing someone who isn’t of that minority when there are talented people available is an issue.

    But that’s completely distinct from someone else’s “worthiness” to be in the role. If they did it well, and when appropriate, sensitively, then they proved themselves “worthy” – and as an actor, the quality of their acting should be the only question.

    The casting choice is an issue that should be taken up with the casting people or the producers and director, not the actor who did their job well.

  13. says

    Everybody knows who the Westboro Baptist Church weirdos are, right? The “God Hates Fags” sign carriers who show up at military funerals etc. Kinda like the heckler guy.
    I am going to refer to all those haters from now on as “Westboros”. I hope it catches on.

  14. AJ says

    The reason they win awards is because the audience knows them to be heterosexual and they are going completely out of their comfort zones and backgrounds to play an LGBT character. That’s why they win awards. If Jared Leto was an Atheist and he played a Roman Catholic Priest…he might be nominated for playing that role as well. It’s about acting.

    When have we seen LGBT people actually play straight in a role that warrants an award nomination? Neil Patrick Harris comes to mind…other than that, whom?

  15. gregorybrown says

    A trans friend who used to be reasonable has become a cis-phobic bore sometimes. She complained about JL’s casting. I asked if she knew any trans actors who might have been qualified play the part well AND attract an audience. Of course not….

  16. peterparker says

    I’m in a location where I can’t watch the video with the sound on, so I’m only going by what I’m reading here. I don’t understand what Leto means when he says “Then you make sure that people that are gay, people that aren’t straight, people like the Rayons of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts that aren’t central to who they are…”

    “…explore parts that AREN’T central to who they are…”?! But Rayon’s gender identity *was* central to who she was.

    Am I missing something here? Were Leto’s words transcribed incorrectly? Have I misunderstood his meaning?

    He was fabulous in the role. I hope he wins the Academy Award.


    “If you’d like to, after this conversation, I’d love to talk with you. The door’s open.” Yeah right, like that’s gonna happen.

  18. CMJ says

    Maybe people win awards for portraying roles they do not have in real life, because it’s very impressive that they are able to do so. Isn’t that just GOOD ACTING? I’m sorry but if I choose to star in a play about myself or someone almost exactly like me, I wouldn’t consider that any great advance of the art form…

  19. Kevin_BGFH says

    Leto makes the same argument that I’ve been making for years. If we insist that only LGBT actors play LGBT roles, doesn’t that also mean that only straight actors can play straight roles? There aren’t enough gay roles to employ all of the gay actors.

  20. says

    what needs to happen, and eventually it will, is that more roles “written as straight” simply won’t be.

    “isn’t it limiting to only play gay characters”? No. most actors only ever play straight ones, and it’s not seen as limiting – because the “straight” isn’t the focus.

    the only thing limited, at present, is the number of gay characters being written, or characters that are *allowed* to be gay.

  21. JMC says

    Certainly the heckler went too far by accusing Jared of transmisogyny, but there’s definitely something to be said about the fact that Hollywood loves to shower straight, cis actors with praise and awards for playing gay or transgender characters when they aren’t willing to cast gay and transgender actors in ANY roles, regardless of the characters sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s a way for them to look progressive and cover up the rampant homophobia and transphobia in the industry.

  22. Hrm says

    @Peterparker, he’s saying that if only trans performers should play Rayon’s role, then by the same token trans performers should not be able to play roles that are NOT about trans people. It’s no different than saying that if a gay guy can play a straight guy on screen, then the same applies for the opposite, and there’s absolutely nothing AT ALL wrong with that mentality. It’s about who plays it best, and he did a good job.

  23. Hrm says

    @JMC, I think you’re confusing “transphobia” with a refusal to fill a quote just for a quota’s sake.

  24. Rrhain says

    If astronauts were an oppressed class, if there were huge numbers of them with talent capable of playing the part, we would wonder why a movie decided to choose a member of the oppressing class to portray them.

    If the role in _Dallas Buyers’ Club_ weren’t so pathetic, we wouldn’t be concerned about it.

    And yes, you take it up with the actor, too, because they should know better. I recall a production of _Children of a Lesser God_ I auditioned for. At the time, I was much too young to play James, so I was auditioning for Orin.

    But I knew that I should be passed over in favor of an actual deaf person (and I was).

    Surely there was an actual trans person who would have done just as well in this role if only the producers had decided to do so. Leto should have said, “Thanks, but no thanks. This role belongs to an actual trans actress.”

    Same with _Transamerica._ Felicity Huffman was wonderful, yes, but they should have found an actual trans actress.

    To PETERPARKER, the transcription was right. What he’s saying is that actors should be able to play parts that are very different from who they are. Trans people shouldn’t be forced to play only trans people. Gay people shouldn’t be forced to play only gay people.

    That said, there is an issue with people of the dominant culture making it impossible for the minorities to ever find mainstream work. Each individual case, when only examined as an individual, is fine in and of itself. But when taken as a whole, it’s a problem.

    There is no nice, easy solution. Somebody needs to step up and say that it isn’t acceptable.

  25. JMC says

    Those failing to see the bigger picture here should consider whether or not they think Jared Leto still would’ve been cast as Rayon if he were actually a transgender woman in reality.

  26. Derrick from Philly says

    I would love to see more Transgender and openly Gay actors in movies, television & theater.
    But there is something everyone seems to be forgetting: Leto is a star–not a major one, but still a star. The producers were probably happy as hell to have a star as part of the cast of this unusual film project…probably the casting is what helped them raise the money to complete the film. I’m just guessing.

  27. JMC says

    The flip side of that is Hollywood actively stands in the way of openly gay and transgender stars being made.

  28. SpaceCadet says

    The best actor should get the part period. Just as a gay or trans person should be afforded the opportunity to audition and perform a straight role. The opposite should be true. That said, Hollywood has a long way to go in being color/gay/trans/female-blind when it comes to casting roles.

  29. crispy says

    @ Marcus: Actually, Leto invited her backstage after the presentation and they spoke privately about it for 15 minutes. Apparently, it was very cordial and they reached an understanding.

    But your cynicism is precious.

  30. DEARCOMRADE says

    I had never heard of Jared Leto before the “Dallas Buyers Club” (have not seen it yet)and this video is the first in which I have heard him speak. He responded to the audience member politely and has a very valid point regarding his performance. I’m not a celeb follower, but this guy sure impressed me.

  31. Bill says

    Vile trans activists. You notice that their many, many attacks are focused on progressives, artists, writers, and LGBs. They’ll go after Jared Leto and Piers Morgan and Neil Patrick Harris, but these trans activists thugs never heckle James Dobson or Bryan Fischer or Mike Huckabee.

    Like a husband who beats his wife, they go after the people who treat them well, who show them charity, and who listen to them. They know that progressives and LGBs will scramble to apologize for whatever nonsensical complaint they make up or to satisfy whatever obnoxious demand they make. They get a sick thrill out of seeing their targets grovel and try to make amends. The Christian Right wouldn’t do any of that, so the trans activists don’t bother them.

    The best thing we can do for ourselves and for these sick trans activists is to refuse to apologize to them for anything, ever. Accede to no demands. In fact, do the opposite of whatever it is they demand. It is the only way to break the cycle of bullying that they are perpetrating.

  32. Dback says

    You’d think trans activists would be more interested in working for LGBT job protections, or working to stop violence against trans people. Why attack an actor whose beautifully done performance could engender Sympathy and support for the LGBT community?

  33. Dennis says

    Lol! Little Kiwi dispenses wisdom about the the acting profession! Like you would know anything about acting. Kiwi, your experience in acting is limited to failing at it. Now go get me a latte.

  34. Knock says

    DENNIS: LittleKiwi often ‘acts’ here by changing his screen name to post agreements to himself.

    If transsexual characters can only be played by transsexuals, then they can only play transsexual characters, gays can only play gay, orphans play orphans, slaves play slaves, rape victims play rape victims, etc. Orrrrr ‘cis’phobes can try to wrap their tiny brains around the concept of acting.

  35. JJ says

    JMC, just accept that you’re a terrible performer instead of blaming the nebulous “homophobic racist blah blah hollywood machine” for holding the world back from discovering your incredible talents.

  36. trapelo says

    Let was good in that role although to be honest, some of the accolades he’s gotten for it may be because people are surprised a straight guy could pull that off. When Sean Hayes from Will & Grace was playing straight on Broadway at least two critic said he was not believable as a straight guy. We have a ways to go before an openly gay actor will be signed on to play the romantic straight lead

  37. SteveDenver says

    If I get the chance I’m going to heckle Jared Leto so we can talk afterward… I’ll be sure to shut the door to prevent his escape.

  38. Todd says

    These people do not realize you audition for a part, this was not handed to him. He, as well as several other actors auditioned. He got the part. The writers of the script provided the audition requirements. So grousing him is useless as he was not necessarily the first audition to get the part. Once again people who have no experience with what they are talking about shed zero light a non-issue.