NME Festival blog: Jared Leto ‘blinded himself’ while filming ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Jared Leto was allegedly partially blind during the filming of Blade Runner 2049.

The movie – which boasts a cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Mackenzie Davis and Ana de Armas, alongside Leto – will be released in cinemas in October 6. In the film, Leto plays replicant creator Niander Wallace.

Now, in an interview with WSJ Magazine, Leto has revealed how he “blinded himself” by wearing contact lenses that heavily limited his sight.

“He entered the room, and he could not see at all,” director Denis Villeneuve said, describing Leto’s first camera test. “He was walking with an assistant, very slowly. It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple. Everybody became super silent, and there was a kind of sacred moment. Everyone was in awe. It was so beautiful and powerful — I was moved to tears. And that was just a camera test!”

“We all heard stories about Jared, how he transforms into the characters. But even this didn’t prepare me for what was to come,” Villeneuve added. “That, for me, was insane. But he really created something. Every time Jared came on set, it was a boost of energy, tension and excitement.”

Leto, however, said of the feat: “I didn’t dive as deep down the rabbit hole as maybe I’ve done before. I’m crazy, but I’m not insane.”

Leto’s role was originally envisaged for David Bowie before the music icon passed away in January 2016. In a recent interview, director Villenueve revealed that Bowie had been his first choice to play Wallace, but he instead cast Leto in the role after seeking out actors with similar rock star backgrounds to Bowie.

Describing the casting process, Villeneuve said: “Our first thought [for the character] had been David Bowie, who had influenced Blade Runner in many ways. When we learned the sad news, we looked around for someone like that.”


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Straight from the NME


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