"Maybe that's why I'm so good at climbing." There's a telling scene in Artifact, Leto's entertaining 2012 documentary about his band's brave contract-disputing lawsuit against its label, EMI, where he half-jokingly bemoans the musical imperfections of "humans.""Did you play sports in high school? "There's all kinds of ways to change your state of mind or to get out of yourself," he says. The hike starts to get interesting as we scramble along a rock wall just above a creek where college-age kids are swimming. A decade ago, he was heading toward his mid-thirties as a respected but hardly box-office-smashing actor on an uncertain trajectory, with a fledgling, eyeliner-enhanced music career that most non-teens considered a vanity project at best.
From here on, each movement is tricky, requiring precise hand and footholds, and Leto navigates it with speed and ease, all the while guiding me through dozens of specific movements."Stay superclose to me," he says, "and just replace my feet and my hands. "There were so many people that didn't understand," Leto says.
But he also seems curiously self-perfected, as if he's gone clear in some one-man Church of Letology, and sleeker than any Homo sapiens should be, moving with serpentine ease. This kind of climbing is nothing for him, anyway — the 3,600-foot-tall El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, is more his speed.
He recently took a genetic test, with revealing results: "I have a lot of Neanderthal in me," he says. "Which was kind of a sport." These days, he adds, he's "essentially" straight-edge, and certainly doesn't drink. Only if I'm having an orgy at Burning Man will I take that." (He's probably joking, but then again, he did go to Burning Man last year.)Above, the occasional eagle flies by; a snake slithers on the trail ahead. ***eto is fond of rock-climbing metaphors, so maybe it's not too on-the-nose to note that the course of his showbiz career has been as jagged as the kind of terrain he's fond of traversing.
' He's the only one that pulled it off."Remarkably, Leto's acting career is only now hitting its stride, after beginning in 1994 — before some of his band's fans were born — with his indelible My So-Called Life role as literacy-impaired high-school-boiler-room make-out king Jordan Catalano.
And his newfound status follows an unheard-of six-year break from acting — between 20 — to focus on his music.
He parlayed his vocal prowess and songwriting skills into a solo career, making his solo debut with his Kim’s label S.
Listen, there's nothing wrong with finding love on the set of a TV show or movie — lots of stars have done it, whether it was with another actor, a producer or director, or even a member of the crew — but there are a handful of celebrities who seem to date people they've worked with on screen.
A multi-hyphenate talent, Kim was a talented vocalist who could take on any style and a gifted songwriter who crafted lyrics for some of Korea’s top acts, from IU (“A Gloomy Clock”) to EXO (“Playboy”) to his own group SHINee. “Jonghyun loved music more than anybody else and he was an artist who did the best to perform his absolute best on stage,” the statement reads.
Kim made his industry debut in 2008 alongside the four other members of SHINee as the group’s lead vocalist.
Leto parks his unassuming vehicle of choice — a GMC Yukon SUV he's owned since 1996 — on a dusty Malibu road, ready for a bouldering trek through one of his favorite paths, in a mountainous, 8,000-acre state park where everything looks familiar.