Is it too early to call an end to the awards race for best supporting actor and give all 2013’s plaudits to Jared Leto? The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman, still beloved by an entire generation as bad boy Jordan Catalono in the LGBT-inclusive TV classic My So-Called Life, took a break from selling out stadiums around the globe to return to acting as Rayon, an HIV-positive transgender woman in the upcoming Dallas Buyers Club. The fact-based drama focuses on Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey), one of the most unlikely heroes of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic. A gay-bashing homophobe, Woodruff was diagnosed with the disease in 1986 and refused to accept his doctor’s diagnosis that he had only 30 days left. After he nearly died from taking AZT, Woodruff began smuggling anti-viral meds, unapproved by the FDA, from all over the world. In the film, Woodruff teams with Rayon to create the Dallas Buyers Club, which offered its paying members life-prolonging alternative drug treatments. In his first movie in half a decade, Leto performs without a hint of cliche that often tempers straight actors’ portrayals of LGBT characters. His Rayon, a composite character based on several real-life people, provides a welcome and tender balance to the anger and bluster of McConaughey’s equally impressive work as Woodruff.
Dallas Buyers Club will open in limited release November 1 and expand into more theaters later in the year. See photos below from last week’s premiere held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. [Check back next week for Queerty’s interview with Let0.]