Jared Leto: The Oscar-winning star on the ongoing Hollywood strike and his music career

"I fully support the actors", movie star and musician Jared Leto tells ITV News' Arts editor Nina Nannar when discussing the ongoing industrial action in the US

These are strange times to be sitting down to interview a Hollywood A-lister - and Oscar winner at that.

The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes in America, involving writers and actors, means that people in those unions should abide by the rules of industrial action, namely, not in any way, promote their films and TV shows.

So when Jared Leto arrived in London, he was doing so with a different hat on.

Because 15 years before he became known as an Oscar winner, he and his brother, Shannon, started the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars.

They have just completed their sixth album, have done a record-breaking number of tours and it is that he is now in the UK to promote.

Discussions beforehand clarify what he can talk about. We can discuss the strikes but not talk about his film work.

The Hollywood star sat down with ITV News' Arts Editor Nina Nannar. Credit: ITV News

And it is clear his union peers in the US are keenly watching to see what the union members are doing, witness the disapproval met with the likes of Drew Barrymore, amidst plans to record her talkshow while she insists she would not break any promotional rules.

After a backlash from her peers, the recordings are now paused.

The news that studio bosses and the unions are about to resume talks no doubt, giving hope to those who are desperate to return to work.

Jared Leto, though, was first a musician, it’s his first love, and he can discuss his album most of which was written during lockdown, freely, as it is, he says a completely separate part of his life.

He knows he is lucky as someone in the creative industries who can still operate.

He is in full support of the industrial action, talking about the sheer excitement he felt when he got his SAG card, his entry into the Screen Actors Guild, with all the protections that come with being in such a union.

Disagreements between studios and streaming giants and the union members over fair pay, and the use of AI in the industry, resulted in writers going on strike in May actors following some weeks later.

Jared Leto attending the Vogue World London show at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Credit: PA

This action is still ongoing, and Leto says the prospect of it affecting the Oscar season, is unimportant when peoples livelihoods are at stake. 

He may still be known, primarily as an actor over here, but his music career began 25 years ago in the US, seeing the band achieve international success, sellout concerts, and a dedicated following.

They are known for taking their time between albums, and this latest one, It’s The End Of The World but it’s a Beautiful Day, has taken five years to complete.

Known in the early days for anthemic rock, the album marks a change in direction, a conscious move to try something new with their music.

He says he and his brother wrote around 200 songs for the album starting it during the pandemic, when they were forced to stay put, whittling it down to the 11 on the album. 

Many musicians have of course stepped into the music arena with varying success, but his band have the Platinum albums and the awards to prove they’re the real thing.

Jared Leto is a rock star. And an actor. And he does not believe you should stay in your lane. 

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