Jared Leto

updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

JASON PRIESTLEY? EEEEWW, AN OLD GUY. ANDREW Shue? Oh, he's practically ancient. The small-screen sensation currently setting teen pulses pounding? Jared Leto. The 23-year-old Louisiana-born actor struck an adolescent nerve as the confused-but-intense Jordan Catalano on ABC's highly praised My So-Called Life. Claire Danes, 16, the show's star, speaks for thousands of Leto-heads when she says, "Those eyes have a magnetic effect on women. He really looks at people. I don't want to say he stares, but he really cuts to the chase. He's a mystery man in every sense of the word." The extremely shy Leto, who spent most of his set time in his trailer, sometimes comes across like his character, whom he has described as "a man of many thoughts and few words." That doesn't stop girls from trying to draw him out. "It's hard not to talk about how beautiful he is," says Danes. "We teased him on the set. We'd say, 'Well, another woman has gone gaga over you.' Or, 'Okay, we give up. You're the most beautiful person in the universe.' He must be really sick of it." Well, maybe not quite yet.

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