‘Dallas Buyers Club’ star Jared Leto on His Character, Rayon: “It was the role of a lifetime”

jared-leto-dallas-buyers-club is making waves for his transgender performance as Rayon in the fall film offering . Much has been made about his transformation into the character and the fact that he stayed in the role for the entire 25-day shoot.

One of the highlights of the film is how naturally his friendship develops with fellow AIDS-sufferer and homophobe Ron Woodroof played by . Leto talked with Moviefone about how that relationship developed so fluidly.

He said, “We both had a great sense of our characters and what we were doing there; the circumstances, the situation, the story. So it was actually, I think, really beneficial that we didn’t really know each other and we didn’t spend any time rehearsing.”

Even with a beautiful partnership forming on-screen, Leto noticed how he was treated off-screen while in character for Rayon. It wasn’t that pleasant.

“I went to Whole Foods once, and that was interesting. Number one, because I wasn’t eating. Number two, I had a break in the set, so I ran over to Whole Foods to just kind of stare at the food and probably get some water or something. But I remember getting three distinct looks,” he revealed. “One was, ‘Who is that?’ The other was, ‘What is that?’ And the third was, ‘I don’t know what that is, and I don’t like it.’ So, yeah, that was a pretty intense experience, to have that kind of judgmental gaze cast my way, but I think it was really important to understand what that was like.”

Even with such judgment the former My So-Called Life star was able to separate himself from his transgender role.

“When I look at photos, I see Rayon. I see the character, and I think I’m just really happy that I had the opportunity to help bring this person to life. It was the role of a lifetime, and it was an absolute pleasure,” said Leto.

Dallas Buyers Club is now open in select theaters.

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