In his upcoming film, Dallas Buyers Club, actor and Thirty Seconds to Mars front man Jared Leto portrays Rayon, a transgender AIDS patient. He spoke about his approach to the role on SiriusXM’s The Michelangelo Signorile Show.

“From the beginning I always saw Rayon as a man who wanted to live his life as a woman, not as someone who just enjoyed putting on women’s clothing,” Leto said. “I think that was a key distinction to make for Rayon.”

Leto told Signorile he tried to stay in character even when the crew wasn’t filming.

“I was in character as much as humanly possible,” Leto said. “I couldn’t imagine the director yells ‘action’ and I have to recall all of these things that are happening, from the voice, to the dialect, to the circumstances, and emotional conditions. There was just too much there, so I stayed put.”

Leto also talked about drawing inspiration from a former roommate of his, who died from AIDS.

“He was a wonderful person, very kind and funny, and fun, a great sense of levity. A lot like Rayon,” Leto said.

Dallas Buyers Club, currently rated better than 90 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, is in theaters on Friday.

The Michelangelo Signorile Show airs weekdays at 3 pm ET on SiriusXM Progress, channel 127.

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