"I was studying to be a painter and a professional drug user at the same time. Not a bad dealer, either," the Oscar winner recalled during an appearance on Apple Music's The Zane Lowe Show.
Jared Leto is opening up about his past experience with drug use.
During an appearance on Apple Music’s The Zane Lowe Show, the Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman detailed his past as a “professional drug user,” revealing he was first exposed to drugs as a child.
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“I grew up in an environment where there were drugs around,” Leto, 51, began. “I mean, I knew what the smell of weed is, as a very, very young kid.”
“I remember walking by some trees, like bushes or something as a young kid, very young kid, maybe, I don’t know, fourth grade or something,” he continued. “And saying to the other kids, ‘Oh, someone’s smoking pot there.’ They’re like, ‘What do you mean? What’s pot?’ They didn’t know what that certain spice was. But for us, it was pretty normal.”
The actor admitted, “I was always interested in that. I was always interested in drugs. I was always interested in an experience. I was interested in taking some risk. I think that’s probably common for people that like to experiment or explore.”
Leto — who received critical acclaim for playing a drug addict in the 2000 psychological drama Requiem For a Dream — went on to note that “addiction is a whole another part of it.”
“Taking drugs is one thing, but does it start taking you?” he said. “My experience was certainly one that … I took it for a ride, and then it took me for a ride for sure.”
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As for how he was able to get “off the ride,” the Oscar winner said he had an “epiphany.”
“I had a moment of clarity,” Leto said. “I had an epiphany. There were two paths that I could take in life. … I guess is the only way I can describe it.”
“I took that path,” he added. “I’ve had very close friends that didn’t, and they’re not here anymore. Many.”
The Dallas Buyers Club star also revealed that he even sold drugs at one point.
“I started as an art school kid — even before I was an art school kid, I was an artist,” Leto said after Lowe asked how into music. “Like I said earlier, I grew up around a lot of artists, but my brother and I completely expected that we would be something, be an artist of some kind, and I was studying to be a painter and a professional drug user at the same time. Not a bad dealer, either, but in that process, I started to fall more and more in love with art.”
“As a f–king dealer?” Lowe exclaimed, jokingly adding, “Your whole technique must have been like, ‘Look at those eyes, I can’t say no!'”
“I give you a good deal,” Leto quipped in reply. “Hey, you’re gonna come back, trust me. I’ve always been good with numbers, man.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline (1-800-662-4357) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.
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