Jared Leto is stepping into Hugh Hefner’s iconic smoking slippers for his next role.
Leto will portray Hefner in an upcoming biopic about the late Playboy founder’s life, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Director Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand) announced the casting decision earlier this morning and revealed that Leto’s interest in the project is what made the actor’s involvement a no-brainer.
Ratner continued, “Jared is an old friend. When he heard I got the rights to Hef’s story, he told me, ‘I want to play him. I want to understand him.’ And I really believe Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.”
Just last week, on September 27, we learned of Hefner’s passing at the age of 91. He was laid to rest on Saturday at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles alongside Marilyn Monroe, Playboy’s first centerfold.
In 2015, Ratner’s production company, RatPac Entertainment, obtained the movie rights to Hefner’s life story. The filmmaker even invited Leto to the Playboy Mansion for the premiere of Amazon’s American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story in April of this year. You know, for research.
Do the puffin proud, Leto.