Jared Leto took method acting to a new level on the set of Morbius, says director Daniel Espinosa.
Espinosa told Movie Maker that the actor who plays Dr. Michael Morbius in the new Marvel movie, would walk around the set as “a fully disabled person” before the cameras even started rolling, behaving as if he had the same physical ailments as his character.
“When he goes in, he is Michael Morbius, ”says Espinosa. “He often played Michael Morbius before he became Morbius, so he would always come in, you know, like a fully handicapped person. It would take him about 20 minutes to get in front of the camera because it was so hard [to walk]. This would also create pain in his body, twisting like that. But it was up to him to remember the pain that the character had. “
Espinosa also notes that Leto lost weight for playing Morbius at his weakest – the character suffers from a rare blood disease before attempting to create a cure that turns him into a vampire creature. Then, to play the version of his character with superpowers, Leto regained the weight – in muscles.
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“It’s dedication,” Espinosa says. “That’s what you get from Jared.”
Leto is known for the intensity of his commitment: His clownish tour as Paolo Gucci last year House of Gucci drew a mixture of praise and shock. (A viral tweet from filmmaker Adam Piron said: “Do not know how else to describe Jared Leto’s performance in HOUSE OF GUCCI than the first case of a white actor appearing in white face.”) But he won an Oscar in 2014 for his Dallas Buyers Club performance as a trans woman, despite criticism that a cis-man should not have played the role.
Espinosa says he feels a great sense of kinship with actors, which he attributes to working with so many beginners on his early films.
“With amateurs, you have to adapt to every single person. I’m close and intense, and I also have a great love for actors. I appreciate them,” he says. “I love the craft, and I love their dedication. I always feel like they’s suicide bombers exploring their emotions and we’re the guys dressed in black hiding and waiting for them to explode. And once they have done that, we must appreciate it. We have to appreciate the sacrifice they make. “
Morbius now playing in American cinemas.
Main picture: Jared Leto and Daniel Espinosa on Morbius’ set. Photo by Jay Maidment.