Jared Leto Repeatedly Freaked Out The Morbius Crew With His Method Acting, To No One's Surprise

Here we go again.

You know the drill by this point: Jared Leto has a new movie coming out (in this case, Sony Pictures' "Morbius"), which means it's time for his co-workers to carry on about his method acting and how committed he was to his role during filming.

This eye-rolling trend really began with the promotional tour for David Ayer's "Suicide Squad," in which Leto's co-star Margot Robbie said he was "kind of terrifying" as the Joker, but also described him as being "very conscientious on set." Will Smith, who played Deadshot in the film, went a little further, claiming that he "never actually met" Leto during production, stating he "was all in on the Joker" in the six months they worked together.

"Suicide Squad" actor Adam Beach went even further, revealing that Leto sent Robbie a love letter and a black box with a live rat in it, as well as some bullets to Smith and "a dead hog." Leto himself lent credence to some of these claims until they started to backfire on him, at which point he insisted the more outrageous stories floating out there — namely, that he sent his "Suicide Squad" cast-mates anal beads and used condoms — were flat-out "not true."

Having (maybe) learned his lesson from the blowback over "Suicide Squad," Leto was a little more coy while discussing his acting methods for "Morbius" with Variety. The actor stars in the Marvel Comics adaptation as Michael Morbius, a scientist with a rare blood disease who sets out to develop a cure for his condition, only to accidentally turn himself into a so-called "living" vampire who tries to use his super-powers for good, in spite of his newfound desire for human blood.

Explaining his approach to portraying Dr. Morbius prior to his vampiric transformation, Leto kept it simple, saying:

"I don't want to get too specific because I'd like to keep some of that for myself. But I leaned in — no pun unintended. I'm a sucker for a pun, but I didn't mean that. I worked with people who had this specific physical challenge and modeled it after that."

'I got scared for Jared'

/Film contributor Kayleigh Donaldson recently wrote an excellent piece about why we need to stop romanticizing the idea of actors tormenting themselves and those around them to portray Batman villains like the Joker. In doing so, she aptly described Leto's behavior on the "Suicide Squad" set as being "less the actions of a dedicated actor and more an example of workplace harassment." 

So far, though, it seems that Leto limited his method acting for "Morbius" to doing things like using crutches and contorting his body to portray Dr. Morbius in his regular human state, prior to getting a vampiric makeover. At the same time, his actions still left his co-workers worried about his physical well-being, with his co-star Adria Arjona telling Variety:

"I remember fearing for this guy's spine. There should have been a physical therapist on call."

"Morbius" director Daniel Espinosa was similarly concerned about Leto harming himself with his antics, stating, "I got scared for Jared. He really commits. You have to watch out for it." He went on to mention a particular scene where Morbius shatters some glass, indicating that Leto left the movie's crew a little shaken with his intensity. "I could sense the crew backed off," as Espionsa put it, describing Leto's acting in this sequence as being "a bit spooky."

Leto, for better or for worse, seems to have recognized that nothing gets you more attention than doing the most acting, the actual quality of your performance aside. This goes back to his Oscar-winning turn in "Dallas Buyers Club," a movie in which the actor (a cisgender man) controversially played Rayon, a transgender woman with HIV, by losing 30 pounds and waxing most of his body. He similarly wore custom-made contact lenses that made his eyes opaque and prevented him from being able to see while portraying the blind scientist Niander Wallace during filming on "Blade Runner 2049."

More recently, Leto's method acting has earned him nearly-equal measures of ridicule and acclaim. This culminated with his performance in the 2021 Ridley Scott film "House of Gucci," in which the actor wore facial makeup and a fat suit to portray Paolo Gucci, the aging black sheep of the Gucci family, with his Italian accent frequently being compared to that of Mario from the "Super Mario" video games.

Will critics and general audiences prove more receptive to Leto's shenanigans in "Morbius?" We will just have to wait and see when the Sony-Marvel production finally makes its way into theaters after multiple delays on April 1, 2022.