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Jared Leto, at 21, Taught 14-Year-Old Claire Danes How to Make Out During My So-Called Life

The film industry might still have a ways to go before it’s a safe and welcoming place for all, but strides have been made. For instance, these days, a 21-year-old Jared Leto having an onscreen relationship with his 14-year-old co-star Claire Danes probably wouldn’t fly. But back in 1994, when My So-Called Life aired on TV, it was accepted, and, not surprisingly, Leto had to guide young Danes through their romantic scenes.

“There were these stage directions in that scene where it says ‘Angela kisses Jordan’s face,’ and I was like, ‘What? What is that about? Why would she kiss his face?’” Danes recounted on The Howard Stern Show yesterday. “I had that question on set, and he had to try to teach me. It’s ridiculous!”

Ridiculous is one word for it. Creepy is another. After the short-lived show, which wrapped in 1995, Danes and Leto kept in touch, although she doesn’t consider them to still be close. She does, however, still hold “great affection” for him. As for their uncomfortable age difference in the romantic scenes, the Homeland star felt respected by Leto. To her, he was always “fraternal” and “protective.” “He seemed ancient,” she said. “He was shockingly good-looking, it was alarming.”

Two years ago, Leto opened up about his time during My So-Called Life, relishing in the fact that he was presented as a “lust object.” “Oh, yeah! It was about time,” he told Rolling Stone, as ET reported. “I’m happy to have taken that, uh, baton or whatever.”

Yet looking back, Leto says that as Jordan Catalano, he barely had his bearings. “I feel like it was such a short period of my life,” he said. “Let’s face it, I barely spoke! I have a lot of gratitude for starting there, but they made such a big deal of the character in the show… I think for some people, especially girls at that time, it mirrored something in their lives. It did make an impact for people, but it’s always been so imbalanced with what the experience was for me in my own life.”

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Claire Danes recalls Jared Leto having to 'teach' her how to make out on My So-Called Life

It’s been 23 years since My So-Called Life last aired, and Claire Danes can still recall how confused she felt over her first on-screen kiss with Jared Leto.

On Wednesday’s episode of The Howard Stern Show, Danes revealed that before filming her first kiss with Leto, the actor had to “teach” her how to follow the stage directions. Then 14 years old, the actress starred on the series as the precocious Angela Chase, whose on-again, off-again relationship with the street-smart Jordan Catalano (Leto, then 21) formed the backbone for the critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama.

“There were these stage directions in that scene where it says ‘Angela kisses Jordan’s face,’ and I was like, ‘What? What is that about? Why would she kiss his face?'” Danes recalled to Stern. “I had that question on set, and he had to try to teach me. It’s ridiculous!”

Credit: ABC; Inset: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

She also admitted that even though the pair aren’t close, she has “great affection” for Leto, who was “fraternal” and “protective” of her when they filmed My So-Called Life because of their age difference. “He seemed ancient,” she said. “He was shockingly good-looking, it was alarming.” Listen to the clip below:

Danes also spoke to Stern about her work on Homeland and confirmed in the episode that season 8 of the Showtime series will be her last. “She’s a lot, this Carrie frickin’ Mathison,” she said. “She’s under constant duress. It’s a workout, so I’ll be ready for a reprieve from that. I’ve never done anything this long.”

Still, Danes’ confirmation doesn’t necessarily mean Homeland itself will end. When asked for comment, a representative for Showtime told EW the network has not made a decision beyond season 8. And in February, showrunner Alex Gansa told The Hollywood Reporter that while he would be departing after the eighth season, the series may not conclude: “It’s definitely going to be my last year,” he said at the time. “I can’t speak for Claire or Mandy [Patinkin], but it will be my final year and it will be designed to be the end of an eight-season story. If Showtime, Fox, Claire, and Mandy want to take the show further that’s their decision, and we would leave some room for that to happen — if there’s an appetite.”

Hear Danes’ chat about Homeland with Stern is below:

Homeland airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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Claire Danes recalls being 'clueless' as Jared Leto guided her through kissing on My So-Called Life

While the Nineties teen drama My So-Called Life only ran for one season, Claire Danes still has some awkward memories of having to kiss her older, more experienced co-star Jared Leto. 

While speaking with Dax Shepard, 45, on the Armchair Podcast, the 40-year-old Homeland star got candid about being 'clueless' on set and navigating a seven year age gap with Leto. 

The beauty admitted her older co-star had to guide her through the kissing process - she was only 14 at the time and he was 21 - and she was afraid to fall for him because he was so much older. 

Age gap: Claire Danes got real about being 'clueless' on set and navigating a seven year age difference with Leto while filming romantic scenes

Age gap: Claire Danes got real about being 'clueless' on set and navigating a seven year age difference with Leto while filming romantic scenes

'I think I made it clear too from the beginning that - you know, 14 years old,' she said on why she never crushed on Leto

'I think I made it clear too from the beginning that - you know, 14 years old,' she said on why she never crushed on Leto

'Is it true that you had your first real life kiss on that show?' the podcast host asked the Golden Globe winner, who played Angela Chase.

'That's not true. But it was true that it was more of an involved kiss than I had ever had,' the actress answered. 

At the time, Leto had to awkwardly guide her through romantic scenes and kissing stage directions. 

High school days: Unlike her older co-star, she was being tutored between scenes and still finishing school, which she described as 'really weird'

High school days: Unlike her older co-star, she was being tutored between scenes and still finishing school, which she described as 'really weird'

No hard feelings: When Kristen Bell's husband, and father of two, asked if Danes crushed on Leto during filming, she was quick to deny

No hard feelings: When Kristen Bell's husband, and father of two, asked if Danes crushed on Leto during filming, she was quick to deny

'I was supposed to kiss Jordan Catalano's face, like not his lips, and I didn't understand that at all,' she said.

When Kristen Bell's husband, and father of two, asked if Danes crushed on Leto during filming, she was quick to deny. 

'No, he was way too old,' she said. 'I was way too terrified. It was very fraternal. And he was actually pretty protective of me.' 

A last was asked of her at a young age: She also kissed Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet; seen here in 1996

A last was asked of her at a young age: She also kissed Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet; seen here in 1996

She reminded the host, 'I think I made it clear too from the beginning that- you know, 14 years old.' 

Unlike her older co-star, she was being tutored between scenes and still finishing school, which she described as 'really weird.'

'Going back to high school and making sense of those two identities was stressful and I don't miss that,' she explained of her days on the adolescent drama.

While the series was not renewed for a second season, it helped launch both of the stars' careers after wrapping in 1995. 

One season: While the series was not renewed for a second season, it helped launch both of the stars' careers after wrapping in 1995

One season: While the series was not renewed for a second season, it helped launch both of the stars' careers after wrapping in 1995

In April 2018, Danes first reflected on those cringe-worthy kiss scenes, on The Howard Stern Show, saying. 'He had to try to teach me. It’s ridiculous.' 

She also remembered thinking 'he seemed ancient' and 'shockingly good,' before adding she still has great affection for him. 

Next month the eighth and final season of the hit drama series on Showtime will debut on Homeland on Sunday, February 9 at 9 PM ET.

Her one and only: The star with husband Hugh Dancy at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in 2018

Her one and only: The star with husband Hugh Dancy at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in 2018

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Claire Danes on Kissing Jared Leto on “My So-Called Life”

Jared Leto Kissed A Male Co-Star During Suicide Squad Filming, Because Method Acting

We've heard a lot of stories about the sort of character that Jared Leto was while playing the Joker in Suicide Squad. Now another co-star has come out to talk about the wild stuff the actor did while filming. Ike Barinholtz is a comedian an actor that you've seen in numerous TV shows and movies. His most well-known role, however, was likely that of Griggs, a supporting character in last summer's Suicide Squad. The actor has a major scene with Jared Leto's Joker in the movie and apparently while filming Leto went a little overboard.

He's supposed to be intimidating me ... he starts squeezing my tits. And then he fucking grabs me and kisses me. Like, on the mouth, full kisses me.

The details of Jared Leto getting up close and personal came from a recent appearance by Ike Barinholtz on the Howard Stern Show. In Suicide Squad the Joker is working on a way to free Harley Quinn and so he grabs Griggs, who is a security officer at the facility where the nano bombs that are keeping her in check are being produced. In the final version of the sequence, the Joker gets what he needs from Griggs through pure fear and intimidation, but apparently, during one take Jared Leto decided to take things a bit further. Barinholtz says that initially he went with it and tried to improv the scene but eventually he had to stop when Leto added the line, "Did somebody piss their pants?"

The idea of The Joker kissing Griggs in their scene is far from shocking. Based on the way the scene plays out it's a good bet that many in the audience were fully expecting Leto to go there.

All things considered, Jared Leto randomly kissing a guy during filming may still be the least weird thing he did during the production of Suicide Squad. The actor was famously in character during the entire shoot. We all saw the stories about the bizarre "gifts" that he sent to his co-stars that included animals, both dead and living, bullets, and condoms. While the feelings toward his performance in the final film are not all glowing, nobody can argue with his commitment to the performance.

At this point, nobody knows what's next for The Joker or Jared Leto in the DCEU, or if those two things will even be related. If they are we can likely expect more crazy stories, which will at least keep us entertained until the movie comes out.

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Leto kissing jared

Claire Danes learned how to do on-screen kissing with Jared Leto on 'My So Called Life'

Claire Danes is now primarily associated with her work on 'Homeland', but there once was a time in the '90s when she was known as Angela Chase, the free-spirited teenager on 'My So-Called Life'.

In a recent interview on Howard Stern, Danes talked about her time on the series and brought up her on-screen relationship with Jared Leto's character, Jordan Catelano. "He brought me to my first club when I guess, I was 14, he was very fraternal with me," explained Danes. "At the time, he seemed ancient. I was 14, he was 21 or something."

While all that might seem a bit innocent as such, it gets a bit strange in retrospect when you consider that the two of them were in an on-screen relationship. "There was these stage directions that said, 'Angela kisses Jordan's face', and I was like, 'What? What is that?'... and it was, yeah, and he had to teach me," laughed Danes.

As Danes points out, Jared Leto was "shockingly good-looking" and that it must be "strange to be that beautiful," and throw in the whole fact that he was 21 and she was 14 and it's just... yeah, the '90s was a strange time.

Here's the clip.

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Jared Leto flirting.

In the ‘90s, when many American teens had pinups of Jared Leto on their bedroom walls, his My So-Called Life co-star Claire Danes was decidedly not enjoying her kissing scenes with him.

That’s mostly because Danes was just 14, while her leading man was 21.

Claire Danes was just 14 when she starred in "My So-Called Life." (Photo: Getty Images)

“No, he was way too old,” Danes said on the latest episode of the podcast Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard, when asked whether she had a crush on Leto back in the day. “I was way too terrified. It was very fraternal… and he was actually pretty protective of me. I think I made it clear, too, from the beginning that I wasn’t that kind of 14-year-old. I was truly 14.”

Claire Danes and Jared Leto star in "My So-Called Life" in 1994. (Photo: Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

However, Danes said kissing the older actor wasn’t her very first smooch, despite what Shepard said he’d read.

“That’s not true,” Danes clarified. “But it is true that it was a more involved kiss than I had ever had. And there were stage directions that said I was supposed to kiss Jordan Catalano’s face... like, not his lips. And I didn’t understand that at all. And so Jared had to explain that to me, which was very embarrassing.”

Two years later, Danes was paired with a leading man closer to her age, Leonardo DiCaprio, for Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. She remembered turning 17 during filming, while DiCaprio was 21.

“I think it was crushy, for sure, but it was also a little bit like Jared,” Danes said. “That was just never gonna happen.”

For one thing, Danes admitted she just “didn’t know how to go about that.”

But they were also “very different people.” She recalled DiCaprio being frustrated with her for being “so still,” while she couldn’t understand why he was “so active.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes co-starred in "Romeo + Juliet" in 1996. (Photo: Barry King/WireImage)

After the success of the Shakespeare adaptation, Danes said she was quickly given a lot of opportunity.

Shepard asked if it was true she’d been offered the lead role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic.

“I think I did. I’m not entirely clear on that,” Danes said. “There was strong interest, but honestly, like, I’d just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic, and I just didn’t have it in me. And I remember, Leo and I shared a manager at the time, and we were there at the office. I was on a balcony, which is funny [because of Romeo + Juliet]... and Leo had this rental red convertible, some, like, hot rod-dy car. And he was kinda going in circles in the parking lot. And I knew he was wrestling with the decision to do that movie or not and he just looked up at me, and he said, ‘I’m doing it. I’m doing it.’ And I could see he wasn’t sure, but he was like, f*** it, I gotta do this thing.’ And I looked down on him going, like, I totally understand why you are doing it. And I’m not ready for that.”

Danes never regretted her decision, even as she watched DiCaprio elevate to another level of fame.

“I remember I went to the premiere of The Man in the Iron Mask [in 1998], and when he walked into the room, the floor fell in his direction,” she said. “Everybody in the room just went towards him. And it was a little scary. I think I may have sensed I was courting that, and I just couldn’t do it.”

Instead of starring in one of the highest-grossing films of all time, Danes spent the late ‘90s completing several other projects before heading to Yale University for an education, both academic and social. She hadn’t been in a traditional school consistently since she was 12.

“I wasn’t able to do a lot of the socializing that you typically are forced to do, no matter how miserable it is, in high school, and I think that was to my detriment,” Danes explained. “So that was really why I went back to college.”

She left Yale after two years to return to acting full time, much to the delight of Homeland fans everywhere.

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Claire Danes was ‘terrified’ to kiss Jared Leto when she was 14 and he was 21 on the My So-Called Life set

CLAIRE Danes revealed it was “embarrassing” to lock lips with her MUCH older co-star Jared Leto on the set of My So-Called Life.

The star of Homeland, 40, revealed she was "terrified" about the kiss- which happened when she was merely 14 and he was 21.

 Claire was only 14 when she had to make out with the 21-year-old on the set of the show

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 Claire revealed she was too 'terrified' to have a crush on the older actor

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 Jared played Jordan Catalano opposite Claire's character Angela Chase

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The Golden Globe winner joined the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard, 45, and admitted she was “clueless” going into the show at such a young age for her role as Angela Chase.

“Is it true that you had your first real life kiss on that show?” the comedic podcast host asked his guest.

“That’s not true. But it was true that it was more of an involved kiss than I had ever had,” the now mom of one said.

“And there were stage directions that said I was supposed to kiss Jordan Catalano’s face, like not his lips, and I didn’t understand that at all.

 My So-Called life ran for only one season before being canceled by ABC

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 Though short-lived, the show were the breakout roles for both actors' careers

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She remembered naively asking her co-star as she laughed and then added: “So Jared had to explain that to me, which was very embarrassing.”

When the father-of-two asked if she had a real life crush on her on-screen love interest, the actress quickly responded: “No, he was way too old.

“I was way too terrified. It was very fraternal. And he was actually pretty protective of me.

"I think I made it clear too from the beginning that - you know, 14 years old."

Unlike the leading man who was seven years her senior, the teen still had to finish school while the show was in production.

“I was being tutored on set which was really weird.

"Going back to high school and making sense of those two identities was stressful and I don’t miss that,” she said of her early days on the Pennsylvania-based adolescent drama.

 Claire described the musician as very 'fraternal' and 'protective' on set

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The show - which was cancelled by ABC after only one season - skyrocketed the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman to fame and turned him into a Hollywood heartthrob.

It was also Claire’s big break who went on to star alongside Jared’s close friend Leo DiCaprio, 45, in the 1996 blockbuster Romeo and Juliet the following year.

Despite it’s critical success, the mental and physical demands from the young actors when they also had to balance schoolwork is said to be the reason the show was not renewed.

Angela and Jordan have their first kiss on My So Called Life


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