Nicola Goode/Warner Bros. Pictures
Writer-director John Lee Hancock's Los Angeles-set psychological thriller The Little Things (out Jan. 29) stars Denzel Washington and Rami Malek as a pair of cops investigating a murder and Jared Leto as the prime suspect.
"Well, it’s all in the name — Albert Sparma!" says Leto of his character, with a chuckle. "He’s an unusual guy. He’s an outsider, a black sheep, someone who’s stuck in a part of life that maybe he feels like he doesn’t deserve. He’s been blessed and cursed with a significant amount of intelligence and wit, but doesn’t really fit into society so well. For me, it was an opportunity to make a complete transformation, which I took full advantage of and that was a lot of fun, in the preparation, the research, and the building of the character. It was just a blast."
One of the big reasons the Dallas Buyers Club and Suicide Squad actor took the role was the opportunity it offered to work with Washington.
"Denzel Washington, to me, he’s my Brando, Pacino, De Niro all rolled up into one," says Leto. "The opportunity to work with him, I couldn’t pass that up. And then on top of that, Rami, the icing on the cake, a force to be reckoned with, and someone I was really excited to spend time with."
Hancock shot The Little Things in Los Angeles, albeit often at locations distant from the tourist trail.
"LA is a full-on character in the film," says Leto. "It’s rare that you get to shoot movies in LA, so for me it was really great. We saw a side of LA that doesn’t really get a light shone on it too often — the back alleys and the vacant lots — and that was fascinating."
The cast of The Little Things also includes Natalie Morales, Terry Kinney, Chris Bauer, Joris Jarsky, Isabel Arraiza, Sofia Vassileva, and Michael Hyatt.
The Little Things debuts in theaters (wear a mask!) and on HBO Max, Jan. 29. See a first look image of Washington and Leto in the film above.