Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
As part of his press tour for Sony/Marvel’s vampire superhero film Morbius, Jared Leto participated in a lengthy interview with a Japanese virtual YouTuber named Shirakami Fubuki, a cartoon hybrid fox/girl. The resulting highlight reel introduces us to Leto’s latest role: The Befuddled Good Sport Trying to Play Along.
Seemingly unprepared to be interviewed by an anime fox, Leto visibly grapples with the experience, starting his interview by stammering out a compliment to Fubuki on her outfit. He then gets back on message, talking about how excited he is to introduce the character of “Morbius, the Living Vampire” to a wider audience.
He then turns the tables on Fubuki, with “Is that a tail, or your hair in the back?” Following a reply in Japanese, Leto clarifies for English-speaking audiences: “Hair and a tail. wow.” In 2014, Jared Leto won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film The Dallas Buyers Club.
Following a lengthy statement from the host in Japanese, the Golden Globe-winning Leto responded, “That’s such a unique little character. Mezmerizing.” Then, perhaps flustered, the Screen Actors Guild Award-winner added, “I forgot the question.”
Shirakami Fubuki is one of the longest-tenured stars in a menagerie of virtual YouTube hosts, or “V-Tubers,” created and maintained by the Japanese entertainment company Hololive. Hololive’s focus since launching Fubuki’s channel has been video game playing and commentary, and the character is described as an otaku, defined as “a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills.”
Lately, Fubuki has branched out into interviewing celebrities, in what seems to be an attempt by the company to break into the traditional entertainment media sphere. Hololive boasts over 5 million subscribers across all their YouTube channels.
Morbius is the most recent film in Sony’s attempt to launch a Spiderman universe, starring characters from the wall crawler’s comics who aren’t Spider-Man. It also represents Leto’s second attempt to break into comic book films, following his role as the Joker in David Ayers’ poorly-received Suicide Squad.