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Being Jared Leto

After his massive Oscar win, the entertainment world is a-buzz with one name. Timmy Mowafi speaks with the man of the hour... sort of.

What must it be like to be Jared Leto right now? Women want you, men want to be you and you've won an Oscar for being a man-woman...

Unfortunately I won't know as he never responded to our CairoScene interview request, but then I thought... why interview Jared Leto, when I can interview a guy who looks just like Jared Leto.

I remembered that my brother had a childhood friend with just that description. Believe it or not that's not Jared Leto in the picture above, that's Russ Edney. So I tracked him down and found his Facebook profile was flooded with people posting faux congratulations and Jared Leto stories to his wall.

He was kind enough to agree to a chat about sort of being Jared Leto...

Jared Leto | Russ Edney

So, what do you do now?

I'm a freelance writer. Unfortunately, it's not quite as glamourous as an Oscar winning actor.

When did you first realise that you look like Jared Leto?

I think whilst I was at university. On a night out, a girl asked if I would have a picture taken with her "because I looked like Jared," so I said, "Sure, why not?" The next day everyone on campus was calling me Jared – it turned out she'd uploaded it to a Facebook page called 'Student Lookalikes.' I guess everyone had agreed.

Do you often get stopped in public for autographs/pictures e.t.c?

Yeah, it happens quite a bit to be honest, I don't normally mind and it can be quite a laugh! Although it's happened a few times whilst I've been at a restaurant having a quiet meal with my family, and having a guy shove a camera in your face can be a bit annoying. I understand how celebrities must feel.

Russ? | Jared?

Do you play up to it or tell them you are in fact not Jared Leto?

I'm an honest guy so I'll often tell them the truth, but, you know, it's funny – some people won't take no for an answer. One guy chased me down the street screaming, "Jared! It's Jared everybody!" Literally, for like a mile. Straight down the middle of the street. That was weird.

Surely this must be one of the first things people mention when they meet you for the first time. What is your go to response?

I guess it depends on the mood I'm in: mostly, I'll admit that I'm not him, and then I'll feel a sudden need to apologise as well, as though I've somehow let that fan down or something by being me and not him. Occasionally though, I'll just say "Yeah, sure." Then it's a terrifying game of cat and mouse as to how long I can make them believe it. It's a game that usually ends up with me feeling really guilty and eventually confessing everything – though they still don't always want to believe me.

Have you ever purposely pretended to be Jared Leto for personal gain?

Not so much now, but when I was younger I used to pretend I was him to sneak backstage at his gigs. It didn't work all the time, but more than you would have thought.

Yekhla2 men el shabah 40

Are you conscious of how Jared Leto looks at any time as to look the same or not look the same as him?
I quite like his style so I'll look to him for inspiration sometimes, but it tends to be quite close to my own anyway so it's not that big a deal; except for that feather jacket that he owns. I'm not sure anyone but Jared could pull that off.
Have you ever met Jared Leto? If so, what happened?
Unfortunately, I can't say that I ever have. Although once, at one of his gigs, I was in the front row, and when his eyes fell on me, this really confused look came over his face. I think that for a second he may have honestly thought he was having an outer-body experience.
Do you actually like Jared Leto's music or movies?
Yeah, I actually do! His music can be a bit hit-or-miss, but I really admire his acting – I like that he tends to choose to play characters with really quirky physical traits or psychological issues.