SURE, HE CAN RUN—AS EVIDENCED in this winter's biopic Prefontaine
, about Olympic track star Steve Prefontaine. But Jared Leto, 25, can't hide from the millions of teen girls who still see him as the dishy-but-distant Jordan Catalano leaning against a locker in My So-Called Life.
With MTV periodically rerunning the critically lauded series (which originally aired on ABC in 1994-95), they won't stop swooning any time soon. "It's easy to believe that someone that beautiful doesn't have much going on upstairs," says Marshall Herskovitz, MSCL's executive producer. "But Jared is a very funny, smart guy." He is also something of a loner, a reflection of his itinerant childhood with a bohemian mother. "My father was not in the picture," and the family was "food-stamp poor," Leto told the March Details.
"The edge is what makes Jared interesting," says Jeb Stuart, writer and director of the forthcoming Going West in America
, in which Leto plays a serial killer opposite Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover. "He has this intensity behind his eyes; you don't always know what he's going to do next." Jeepers, peepers. The Louisiana-born actor hikes and snowboards for recreation and spends his free time with his half wolf-half husky, Judas. Leto is "absolutely fearless," says MSCL creator Winnie Holzman. "He's somebody who totally does not rely on his good looks but wants to be a good actor. What's great about Jared is that he knows he's much more than his face."