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By Scott T. Sterling

Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto is set to take on a most interesting movie role: late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leto petitioned director Brett Ratner for the role.

Related: Jared Leto Stars in New ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Short Film

“Jared is an old friend,” Ratner said. “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.”

Leto never had the chance to meet Hefner before the Playboy mogul died at the age of 91 last month. Ratner invited the actor to the Playboy Mansion for the premiere of Amazon’s docuseries American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story (and Hef’s 91st birthday party), but he was too ill for a meeting.

“There’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” Ratner said.

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