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Cameron Diaz Reportedly Broke Up With Jared Leto Over His Extreme Method Acting, Source Said

The stars quietly dated in the early '00s.

Jared Leto is famous—or infamous, depending on who you ask—for his commitment to method acting. When he played the Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad, for example, he reportedly got so into his twisted character that he sent his co-stars creepy gifts, including a live rat, a dead pig, and condoms that appeared to have been used. (He later said that reports about the "joke" gifts were overblown.) He said in an interview with I-D (via The Playlist) that he did such a "deep dive" into his House of Gucci character that he was snorting "lines of arrabbiata sauce" and had "olive oil for blood." While he's continued to book roles, Leto's commitment to method acting spelled the end of his early '00s relationship with Cameron Diaz, a source claimed at the time. Read on to find out about the very-private couple's romance and what was reportedly the last straw for her.

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Leto and Diaz started dating in 1999.

Jared Leto and Cameron Diaz in 2001
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Diaz, who came to fame in comedies including The Mask and My Best Friend's Wedding, has a star-studded list of exes. As reported by Page Six, she had been involved with her There's Something About Mary co-star Matt Dillon and had a brief relationship with Edward Norton before she started seeing Leto, who became a teen heartthrob thanks to TV's My So-Called Life, in 1999. It's unclear where or how they met, but presumably, as young, hot stars, they shared some of the same social circle and frequented the same spots.

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The pair kept their relationship private.

Cameron Diaz and Jared Leto in 2000
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Leto and Diaz dated for almost four years, but you may not have even been aware of it, because they prioritized keeping their relationship out of the public eye. In 2002, The Telegraph dubbed them "Hollywood's most photogenic, but least photographed couples." When the interviewer asked Leto about his relationship with Diaz, he said that it was something he "would rather not talk about."

In a 2002 interview with The Mirror, Diaz wouldn't say much about Leto beyond "he is so nice." The outlet posited that she kept quiet out of "fear that she may jinx the relationship."

Leto's preparation for Requiem for a Dream was reportedly a problem.

Jared Leto in Requiem for a Dream
Artisan Entertainment

Leto was one of the stars of Darren Aronofsky's dark drama about addiction, Requiem for a Dream, and he apparently went to great lengths to prepare for the 2000 film. In an oral history of the movie published a few years ago, the actor told Vulture that he spent a lot of time with addicts in New York City's East Village and that he was "basically homeless" himself leading up to the shoot.

In a 2000 WENN news item published by, a source claiming to be close to Leto said that his method acting for the film "nearly destroyed their relationship."

According to the source, Leto decided to be celibate during preparation and filming. He also reportedly shaved his head and lost a great deal of weight.

The course claimed that "the last straw" for Diaz was when Leto moved into a monastery in Portugal to get back to himself after Requiem for a Dream filming wrapped—and didn't inform her.

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They broke up for good in 2003.

Cameron Diaz and Jared Leto in 2002
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If Leto's method acting-induced abstinence was a sticking point for Diaz, it didn't mark the end of their relationship then and there. They continued to date for a couple more years, and there were even rumors that they were going to get married, as she was spotted wearing a $15,000 ring to the 2003 Golden Globe Awards. Wedding bells did not ring, however, and they broke up later that year.

According to US Weekly, per SFGate, their respective careers were the main issue. At the time, Diaz was filming Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and a source from the set said that Leto never came to see her.

"He wasn't very nice to her. They did very few things together," the source said. "Lately, they seemed to live separate social lives."

In 2015, Diaz married Benji Madden, the lead guitarist of the band Good Charlotte, and they've welcomed two children. Leto has never been married, but he was in a seven-year relationship with Victoria's Secret model Valery Kaufman from 2015 to 2022.

James Grebey
James has been an entertainment journalist for more than a decade, writing and editing for outlets like Vulture, Inverse, Polygon, TIME, The Daily Beast, SPIN Magazine, Fatherly, and more. Read more
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