Jared Leto’s Breakout Role Delivers Horror And Heartbreak You’ll Never Forget

By Christopher Isaac | Published

These days, Jared Leto gets a lot of hate as an actor. I feel like his take on The Joker in Suicide Squad was what started the belief that he is not very talented, and Morbius certainly did not help his case. But I think it is more of a situation of him taking bad roles, because if you look at Jared Leto’s breakout role in Requiem for a Dream, it is arguably one of the most powerful movies you will ever see.

Requiem For A Dream

Based on the book of the same name, Requiem for a Dream came out in 2000 and stars Jared Leto as the down-on-his-luck junkie Harry Goldfarb. Alongside his aspiring fashion designer girlfriend Marion and his friend Tyrone, the three hatch a plan to achieve their dreams of a better life by getting rich selling heroin. Meanwhile, Harry’s lonely shut-in of a mom, Sara, starts taking diet pills to fit into her favorite dress from when she was younger, dreaming of wearing it on TV and being seen as important again. In case the movie’s title didn’t give it away, the dreams of all four characters go terribly wrong.

Jared Leto’s Breakout Role

Requiem for a Dream is a harrowing watch about the slow and tragic decline into drug addiction. Harry and his friends quickly become consumers of their own product. And Sara resorts to more and more pills as she tortures herself with delusions of becoming famous. By the end of the movie, all four characters are irrevocably changed. If you really think Jared Leto can’t act, give Requiem for a Dream a watch to understand why this was his breakout role.

The Soundtrack

The movie’s soundtrack alone is iconic, being used in countless YouTube videos and even being remixed for an official trailer of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. However, if you are only familiar with the film’s famous theme from video compilations of epic scenes, in the actual movie, it is the theme of hopelessness and heartbreak. It first plays as Jared Leto’s Harry Goldfarb is stealing his mom’s TV to pawn it for quick cash, and it quickly becomes a theme you dread hearing as Requiem for a Dream becomes increasingly darker.

An Emotional Eye Opener

Requiem for a Dream is not a happy movie. But maybe it is one that everyone should see just for the realities of what drug use can do to a person. Beyond just seeing how Jared Leto got his first big lead role, Requiem for a Dream is a movie that will always be relevant because it deals with the horrors that are all too real for some people in life. It is an uncomfortable, emotionally exhausting watch, but a necessary one. It has the perfect director, Darren Aronofsky, who would make a reputation for himself by creating an entire filmography of great but depressing stories.

Where To Stream


Requiem for a Dream has phenomenal performances, a powerful message, and some scenes you will never forget, even if you might wish you could. It is available for streaming through services like Paramount+, and for rent through services like Amazon, and YouTube. Check out Requiem for a Dream today and see perhaps Jared Leto’s best movie.