Jared Leto; Youth Mentor
To admire someone is to not just enjoy how they look on the posters on your wall but understand and value their thoughts and opinions. Though he may have the looks to be admired on the boundaries of your bedroom, actor Jared Leto is more than just an A-list celebrity, but a modern day philosopher. As a part time musician, the music from his band, 30 Seconds To Mars, forces a person to think in ways they never thought they could before. Also, as an accomplished music video director, he opens the mind of the viewers with his skills in videography in videos like “The Kill” and “From Yesterday.” His trinity of talents has made him more than just a “pretty face” but a person for today's youth to modal after.
Jared Leto may be seen in movies like Alexander, Fight Club, and the latest controversial film, Chapter 27, based on John Lennon's murderer, Mark David Chapman. In the film, he presents the opposite perspective of what happened on December eighth, 1980 which marks the day of John Lennon's mortal departure. After gaining over 60 pounds to portray Chapman, he risked his life to see through the eyes of the murderer, who remains in prison to this day. “It changed the way I walked, the way I talked, I didn't recognize myself sometimes” he stated about gaining the weight on Fuse TV's The Sauce. When choosing the role, Leto used a great rule found in the art of debate; “to debate and defeat an opposition, you must obtain the ability to defeat and defend both.” Leto understood that what Chapman did to Lennon is unforgivable and how it affected the world but he was curious to know how it affected Chapman. Referring to the journey of capturing the essence of Chapman, Leto said “It was a very, very important part of the process, the preparation for the character.” His dedication to the film was mind blowing though the film received negative reviews from critics, including Lennon's son, Sean Lennon.
Like John Lennon, Jared Leto uses his music to connect to his fans on a deeper level. Along with his brother , Shannon Leto, and brother of actress Ivana Millicevic, Tomislav Millicevic, he created the band 30 Seconds To Mars. Leto, his brother, and Tomislav (also known as Tomo) have released two albums, 30 Seconds To Mars and A Beautiful Lie. Leto's lyrics broaden the mind to an extent listeners have never thought of. “Under the burning sun, I take a look around, Imagine if this all came down,I'm waiting for the day to come, America it's all so beautiful,Until it goes away” (Oblivion, 30 Seconds To Mars). As a listener myself, I felt that these lyrics connected to the World Trade Center and the September eleventh terrorist attack. Never did the residents of the United States think that such a tragic event would happen and when it did, it was as if time had stopped and everyone watched in disbelief and confusion. Another song written by Jared Leto that I am deeply connected with is a song called “Revolve”. The lyric in particular that I connect with is, “To find yourself just look inside the wreckage of your past, to lose it all, all you have to do is lie.” When I lost my best friend, I felt like I had lost who I was inside and I'm still having trouble couping with it. Richard Kevin Jaca Jimenez passed of suicide on May 12, 2008. He was my best friend or really the brother I always wished for and this song interpreted my feelings about his passing as if I wrote it myself. 30 Seconds To Mars has one definite message that is consistent to all of their music, “face your problems that lie within rather than hide from them.” Obviously, it is a fact that 30 Seconds To Mars' legacy will be as grand as John Lennon's will forever be.
“A music video is really just a commercial for an artist's album, so we (30 Seconds To Mars), try to make something good out of it” Leto said about being the director of many of his band's videos. He's directed videos for the song “The Kill”, “From Yesterday”, and “A Beautiful Lie”, two of which were shot outside of the US. Filming under the alias of Batholomew Cubbins, the most recognized videos he's shot are “A Beautiful Lie”, which was shot in Greenland, and “From Yesterday” which was the first music video completely shot in China. The video for “A Beautiful Lie” was shot entirely on an iceberg and was intended to make people aware of global warming. Along with donating all profits to global warming awareness organizations, the video also promoted abeautifullie.com that informs people about global warming. “We came into this, not as scientists, but just like everyone else, we weren't very informed, as many other people are so this website is the door to information” said Leto about the website. Jared Leto takes a visual, and turns into a masterpiece and at the same time makes it mean something.
Like the 30 Second To Mars logo, the skull trinity, Jared Leto has proved to be a triple threat. Whether it's acting, music, or directing, he has made an impact on today's society and changed the lives of so many. With his help, many have reach a higher plateau in thought and enhance all of their senses to everything around us. From his role as Mark David Chapman, to the influential music of his band, to his directorial pieces, he has proved to be a standing competitor in Hollywood. As a Modern day philosopher, he's opened the eyes or many, including myself, and will continue to do so in the future.
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