Jared Leto said goodbye to an old friend on Monday – his hair! The Oscar-winning actor dramatically changed his appearance by cutting off his famously long locks and beard, which have become a staple on red carpets. The 43-year-old shocked fans when he debuted his new look on Instagram with two black-and-white photos – before and after the chop.
The first snapshot is a close-up of a pair of scissors held up to his ponytail, moments before it was cut off. He captioned the photo, “I miss my beard already,” confirming that his facial hair had also been removed.
Jared then posted a picture of his clean new look, simply writing “…#gone!” alongside.
The star has chopped off his hair to play the Joker in the upcoming film Suicide Squad. Despite having big shoes to fill – Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger both famously played the iconic Batman villain – Jared has said he was drawn to the role.
“The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character – that’s what graphic novels are becoming, right? (He’s) this beautiful disaster of a character – what a big challenge,” he said.
Jared will star in the film alongside Will Smith as Deadshot, and Margot Robbie, who has been cast as Harley Quinn. British model Cara Delevingne will appear in the movie, which is due out in 2016, as Enchantress.
It’s not just Jared’s hair that had to change for the role; he also needs to put on weight to play the supervillain. The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman famously went through the opposite transformation and lost a significant amount of weight to play transgender AIDS patient Rayon in Dallas Buyer’s Club, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
“I’m trying to gain weight,‘ Jared confirmed to Billboard magazine in February. “It means I have to eat every couple of hours and I’m terrible at eating a lot.”
Of extreme weight regimens, he added, “It can be an incredibly rewarding, but also destructive, thing to do. Your body changes forever.”