American actor/singer Jared Leto went ‘live’ on his Instagram, inviting people from around the world to engage him in a freewheeling chat. Caller No. 14 from the Philippines was Angelica Panganiban
‘Live chatting’ with Jared Leto
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2020 - 12:00am

I was taking a break from watching the dire reports about COVID-19 and surfing the Net Wednesday night (March 25) when I chanced upon Jared Leto “live” on his Instagram inviting people from around the world to engage him in a free-wheeling chat. Of course, dozens connected for how could anyone pass the rare chance of talking (with the whole world “eavesdropping”) to the member of the band Thirty Seconds to Mars and Oscar Best Supporting Actor winner (2014 for Dallas Buyers Club)?

Among the more than two dozen that connected with Leto was...drum roll, please!..none other than Angelica Panganiban (wonder how she did it). But more on her by and by.

Said Leto (who reportedly became aware of the coronavirus pandemic only last March 17 after a 12-day retreat) in his intro, “I hope everyone out there is safe and sound wherever you are. I’m sending good thoughts and energy your way. I’m locked down and practicing social distancing over here and I hope you guys are staying put and doing the best you can to protect the people that you love. I miss (you).”

Adding that he was all alone (presumably at home), Leto assured everybody that he’s not sick but healthy, and trying to stay focused and productive, praising everybody for also observing social distancing. He wore what looked like a hooded sweatshirt and a scarf that he adjusted around his neck every now and then.

The first to connect to Leto was a guy from Finland who had just lost his job (he’s a shoe designer), comforting him that things would be okay, followed by a girl from Brazil, reminded by Leto to “be good.” The other callers were from Egypt, Florida in the US, Mexico, Iran, India, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, UK and many others.

Angelica was Caller No. 14, from the Philippines.

“It’s so surreal,” Angelica gushed, telling Leto that she had been self-quarantined after she came back from Dubai where she shot some scenes (with Coco Martin) for the film Love or Money, an entry in the postponed first Metro Manila Summer Film Festival (MMSFF).

“You are an actor,” commented Leto.

“Yes, I am an actress,” replied Angelica.

Then Leto complimented Angelica for her “interesting voice” but said he had difficulty “placing your accent.”

Before bidding Angelica goodbye and wishing her well, Leto said he and his band had performed in Manila and he couldn’t wait to visit the Philippines again. Like the other callers, Angelica took screenshots of the Instagram live chat with Leto (pictured here).

Despite his “raspy and funny voice” (since he said he hadn’t spoken for quite a while... did he mention that he was on a meditation retreat?),

Leto was engaging throughout the live chat that lasted for almost (or more than) three hours, assuring everybody that things would get back to normal. He let the callers in on what projects he wanted to do, including a film inspired by On The Shortness of Life, a moral essay by playwright and stoic philosopher Seneca who offers “urgent reminders on the non-renewability of our most important resource, our time.”

The essay is said to be a required reading for anyone who wishes “to live to their full potential and it is a manifesto on how to get back control of your life and live it to the fullest.”

Here’s the most famous quote from the essay: “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”

So what did the Jared Leto “live IG chat” prove?

Yes, that we are all connected, living in a global village just a click away from each other. You see, it’s  a small world after all!

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

ANGELICA PANGANIBAN
Philstar
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