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Jared Leto backstage at the 2014 Academy Awards

Jared Leto at the 2014 Academy Awards in Los Angeles
Jared Leto at the 2014 Academy Awards in Los Angeles
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The 86th Annual Academy Awards took place on March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Here is what this Oscar winner said backstage in the Academy Awards press room.

JARED LETO

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

(“Dallas Buyers Club”)

Leto began by saying, “I would like to thank Robin Baum, my publicist. Robin Baum, Robin Baum, please a little of applause for Robin Baum, who I forgot to thank and has been so amazing, wonderful and made this ride so incredible. Robin, are you listening? Thank you so much. I love you, and I appreciate you. You're the best. And you're beautiful.

“Does anybody want to try it out for size? You can. If anybody wants to fondle. Here. Pass it around, but if you have swine flu, please don't touch. I think this is the first, the first person to ever give their Oscar away for an orgy in the press room. My God. Anyway. So sorry.

You spoke so movingly about your mother during your acceptance speech. Why was it so important to talk about her?

Well, this is the best thing about getting this award is to be able to step on stage and thank people that are important to you like Robin Baum, like you're missing it again. I thank my mother because she's everything. She has inspired me in ways, you know, that I could talk about for days. So I was really proud to bring my mom tonight, to bring my brother tonight, the two most important people in my life. And [I am] really fortunate to be able to thank them in such a unique and grand way. So thanks.

Jared, your “Dallas Buyers Club” collaborators in makeup and hairstyling have just won an Oscar. Can you talk about your collaboration with them in this performance?

Well, you know, they had a budget of $250. I'm not joking. That's the truth. And they worked the hardest out of anyone on the entire set. Makeup, hair, they're always the first to set in the morning. I don't know if you guys probably know this.

They show up at the crack ass of dawn, and they leave at the crack ass of dawn. They're there all the time and they were tireless, tireless workers. And essential to the building of these characters and performances. Thank you.

What do you prefer: standing on the stage as a rock star or standing here with an Oscar, or in this case passing it around?

Well, the good news is I don't have to choose. Right? That's the good news. But it's interesting. I said to my brother, This is actually a very small venue for Thirty Seconds to Mars. But of course, when you have to stand up there, you know, without your band and it's obviously not a Thirty Seconds to Mars audience, it's a different thing, and it's quite impressive and exhilarating and very fun.

You know, to look down and see Leo [DiCaprio] and Meryl Streep, and at one point in my speech, I found myself talking right to [Robert] De Niro, as if the room wasn't intimidating enough. I was like, bad choice. Let me go back over to my mom.

You talked about the dreamers in your Oscar acceptance speech. You took time to talk about dreamers and people who have felt they were subjected to injustices. Why did you want to take moments to express your thoughts to these people on this occasion?

That's a great question. Number one, because it's important to me. Number two, because I think it's appropriate to the material, to the story, to the film. And number three, because you have an opportunity when you stand on this stage. You can make it about yourself or you can hold up a mirror and shine a light, and that's what I chose to do tonight.

I mean, because of Thirty Seconds to Mars, because I'm in a band, how many people are here from outside of the USA? Quite a few of you. OK. Good. I'm at home then. But I feel at home all over the world. And you know, for me, these global issues impact us in a really direct way.

Let me give you an example. We have a show in the Ukraine in a couple of weeks. We have a show in Thailand in a few weeks. We had a show in Venezuela in the works. So these things — social unrest, social issues like this affect us in a really immediate way. So I felt on behalf of the people that I interact with on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook, and my own interests … being a person in a global band, it was important to address those things. Thank you.

When the first time that you remember that winning an Oscar could happen?

Good question. You know, I never thought that this would happen. I never was on the set. I don't think anyone on the set, I know for a fact that nobody talked about results. They never talked about awards. They never talked about potential. What we talked about was how do we do the best job that we can to bring this story to life, and that's always where the focus was.

I never, ever in a million years dreamed that I would be here right now talking to you. It wasn't even a fantasy of mine because it was so far-fetched. I would never have thought that they would give me any prize, and I never won an award for anything I ever did on screen until “Dallas Buyers Club.” Oddly, the thing that I've won the most awards for is the thing I've been criticized for the most and that's music. So there you go.

How are you going to be celebrating tonight?

Oh, I'm going to be celebrating to the break of dawn. Trust me. Look me in the eyes and see that I will revel tonight. If they only knew what was going to happen tonight. The stories we would have to tell.

Congratulations, Jared. Are you now able to gauge if this win has changed your professional life, and how?

It's safe to say from the moment the film premiered at Toronto Film Festival, my professional life changed. I wouldn't say that I've changed. But a lot of things around me have. And I've always been an artist interested in creativity and doing something that I was proud of and, you know, taking on challenging projects and pushing myself to the limit. “Dallas Buyers Club” was my first film in six years. Did you guys not know that?

Is there a song that you think of in a moment like this? Is there a Thirty Seconds to Mars song that you think of that sums up winning an Oscar?

Oh, I mean, I think "Kings and Queens" is probably a great one. At least one person with good taste in music. And I think it's a big soaring, anthemic song. But "City of Angels" actually even better.

You know, I made a short film for a song called "City of Angels" and I interviewed Kayne West and James Franco and a bunch of celebrities and some people that live on Hollywood Boulevard, some people that are homeless.

I interviewed Superman and Marilyn Monroe who work on the boulevard. I made this documentary inspired by a song called "City of Angels," so I think that would be the most appropriate, actually. We shot it right here, right in front of this venue. And I live just a mile away. If anybody wants to come hang out later, I'll be there. But it's insane to do this so close to home and it's really a special treat.

And just to wrap things up, Robin Baum, wherever you are, thank you so much. I forgot you. You look great. Look at her. Look at her. Amazing. One more time for Robin. And thanks for getting my Oscar dirty with your fingerprints.

For more info: Academy Awards website

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