Blade Runner 2049 is the follow-up to Ridley Scott's groundbreaking 1982 original. Alongside Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, the film stars Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto.
We caught up with Leto as the film entered its opening weekend. WATCH our unedited interview here, or read on for the highlights:
ALLISON WALKER TORRES: Jared, you used opaque contact lenses that made it impossible for you to see. You may have heard what your director said about you when you were walking with the help of an assistant: "It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple .... There was a kind of sacred moment." I imagine not being able to see helped you stay really focused.
JARED LETO: It did help me stay focused. I think it helped me really fall into the world of the character. It helped me not crap my pants when Harrison Ford was standing in front of me. So it helped with a lot of things.
AWT: I know Harrison really respects you, you'd said in an interview. Now, a normal person would be wildly intimidated to act alongside someone who you really dig. But is that not the case with you pros in Hollywood?
JL: Well, the good news is when you act with someone like Harrison, it's like playing tennis with the best tennis player in the world. They can kind of put the ball exactly where it needs to be and make you feel like you're even better. They can kind of take care of you a little bit. Harrison certainly did that for me.
AWT: Jared, some of the earliest reviews on social were things like this one: "Rare sequel that actually improves on the original." So when you saw the film for the first time, were you surprised by anything that they — and you — pulled off?
JL: Well, it was a beautiful script. You have one of the best directors who has ever lived. You have an incredible cast in Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and a group of actors that's just incredible. It had a lot going for it. But you never know. You can make these films and they can be a total disaster.
AWT: Blade Runner fans — and those who have never seen it — can relate, that we're still faced with the same inquiries: What's real and what does it mean to be human? How has your involvement in this film pushed you to explore that, that deep stuff, even further?
JL: I think it's a really timely film that speaks to some of the things that we're considering, some of the things we're debating now as far as artificial intelligence and how much technology plays a role in our lives. It's a film that's really provocative. It makes you think, 'Wow, this is what our future could be like.'
AWT: Random segue to wrap this up. It's hard to think you aren't good at anything, but evidently — and ironically — it's karaoke. What happens to you?
JL: I am not good at karaoke. I mean, I have my own band to sing in, 30 Seconds to Mars. Orlando is a place that we have spent a great deal of time. We've played many shows over at the Hard Rock there... I've had many great memories of Orlando. That's my karaoke, on stage with 30 Seconds to Mars.
Blade Runner 2049 was the top movie in its opening weekend. According to Adweek, it took in about $33 million, but that's less than the $40-$50 million that had been forecast.