A Look Back At Jared Leto’s ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Transformation

Transformation timeline from Echelon to Rayon
Photos: Getty Images/Truth Entertainment

Jared Leto is a man of many talents. In addition to fronting Thirty Seconds to Mars and having some seriously enviable ombre hair to ever grace this Earth, he beautifully portrayed a transsexual AIDS patient named Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club. Jared went through a major physical change in a short amount of time for the role, so we figured, in honor of Jared’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor, we would take a look back (mostly via Leto’s own Instagram) at his transformation. Let’s get this started.

OCTOBER 24, 2012

Jared Leto before Rayon.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Before undertaking the role of Rayon, Jared had a full beard and impersonated Abe Lincoln for fun. He wore his hair in a man bun.

OCTOBER 28, 2012

RIP Jared Leto’s beard.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

The first step in becoming Rayon was shedding the facial hair. He cut it off with nail scissors (probably not the most efficient method, TBH), arranged the trimmings in a heart shape, and posted it on Instagram.

NOVEMBER 6, 2012

Beardless JL.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

On Election Day, Jared posted a photo of himself sans full beard and looking pretty gaunt. He didn’t look that skinny two weeks ago, right? How’d he drop so many LBs in so little time?

NOVEMBER 9, 2012

Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Jared lost 30 pounds for the role, mostly through fasting. IMHO, he should win every award, just for eating tomatoes for dinner. I need more variety in my meals.

NOVEMBER 14, 2012

Goodbye, eyebrows.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

The next step was removing his body hair, which he kicked off with some eyebrow plucking.

NOVEMBER 14, 2012

Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

He then waxed his armpits, and because he knows what the people want, he left one unwaxed before taking the picture for a perfect before-and-after. I cannot imagine how much that hurt. That is some lengthy armpit hair. He has good hair, this guy.

NOVEMBER 15, 2012

Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

It seems that plucking his entire eyebrows off was taking too long, so he got them WAXED IN ONE FELL SWOOP? Like, I’m not sure an entire eyebrow can be waxed off in one go, but these do have the same shape as his once existent brows, so I guess I’ll refrain from skepticism. I can’t stop looking at these li’l caterpillars, but at the same time feel sick. I bet JL didn’t feel great either.

NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Meet Rayon.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

The next day, Jared introduced the world to “the new woman in his life.” His Instagram followers finally had a clearer idea of what all this grooming was for. His eyebrows are definitely gone.

NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Rayon in full makeup.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

A few days later Jared shared a picture of himself in full Rayon makeup, including false lashes and fuchsia lipstick. Jared, can you teach me how to contour?

NOVEMBER 26, 2012

New nails.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Rayon’s beauty game didn’t just include makeup—Jared wore fake red nails and showed them off on Instagram.

NOVEMBER 28, 2012

Jared out of costume.
Photo: Terry’s Diary

Jared stayed in character for the duration of the shoot, which meant his non-Rayon selfies were paused. Luckily for us, Terry Richardson photographed him without his costume or makeup. With the exception of an appearance at the Gotham Awards, Terry’s photos were the first time many had seen what Jared looked like after all his hair removal and weight loss.

DECEMBER 3, 2012

New nails x 2.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Jared wore the nails (now in pink!) even when not shooting, which led to appropriate wear-and-tear, but also broken nail probz.

DECEMBER 18, 2012

Shopping with Rayon.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Jared went shopping as Rayon, in bright blue tights, leopard print flats, and an oversized coat. He left his wig at home but hid his hair in a cap. I like to imagine it was in a tiny man bun under there.

DECEMBER 18, 2012

Rayon’s tights.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Here, Leto gives us a Rayon POV shot, focusing on her printed tights. After this photo, suddenly, Rayon was gone! The shots from set stopped and the next time we saw Jared…

JANUARY 15, 2013

Jared’s back.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

It was a new month, a new year, and his beard had started to grow back!

JANUARY 15, 2013

Jared getting a tattoo.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

His eyebrows were growing back, he got a huge back tattoo, and he was still into man buns. All was right in the world.

JUNE 1, 2013

Hi, ombre.
Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Then, as spring melted into summer, we were introduced to the greatest homme-bre in the world. Jared wondered if he should cut his “hippy hair,” to which we responded, “UM. NO.”

JUNE 25, 2013

Not Rayon.
Photos: Terry’s Diary

Later that month, Jared was on the cover of Candy, dressed in drag but not as Rayon. He wore different wigs, including a cotton-candy pink pixie and another with blunt bangs. His cheekbones are very prominent, as is his hairless armpit, so we’re positing these photos were taken in November but not released until after his shooting as Rayon wrapped.

OCTOBER 17, 2013

Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, and Jared Leto at the ’Dallas Buyers Club’ premiere in LA.
Photo: Getty Images

Dallas Buyers Club premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and then was released in theaters on November 1. By the premiere, Jared had obviously embraced his free-flowin’ long hair and lightened the ends to perfection. His brows were back in full force, and he traded in his Thirty Seconds to Mars wardrobe for a swaggy, bright blue blazer.


Photo: @jaredleto Instagram

Now, Jared is picking up awards left and right for his performance (and for eating tomatoes for dinner, I assume) and reigning the red carpet with the most perfect man-locks. There’s some speculation as to what his hair will look like tomorrow night at the Oscars, but I’m pulling for something exactly like this.

Be sure to join us tomorrow for our Oscars coverage, which will undoubtedly be filled with Jared Leto hair updates!


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