Jared Leto, who won an Academy Award this year for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, has been seen at a number of Coast Guard Festival events in Grand Haven this week, leading to speculation that the 42-year-old actor and heartthrob to millions is scouting locations for his next movie. As reported in The Grand Haven Tribune last month, Leto is signed to play legendary fur-trader and Grand Haven founder Rix Robinson in Martin Scorsese’s next film, “Owashtanong”. The film, co-starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Rix Robinson’s nemesis William Ferry, is scheduled to begin shooting in October. Based upon real-life events, including the story of how Rix Robinson’s lifestyle, and marriage to an Indian woman in an Indian ceremony, alienated him from the Puritan Pastor William Ferry and Grand Haven’s other earliest white settlers, Scorsese’s film will also feature performances by Scarlett Johansson as Ferry’s wife Amanda, and Ellen Page as Pee-Miss-A-Quot-O-Quay (‘Flying Cloud Woman’), Rix Robinson’s first wife.
The accompanying photo shows Jared taking a break from the carnival rides and enjoying a beverage at Grand Haven’s Odd-Side Ales, where he graciously signed autographs and posed for photos before climbing into a black Escalade driven by local real estate broker Sandi Gentry. Coast Guard pundits and Carnival-watchers speculate that Leto may be looking to purchase a home in the area, as he was also seen with Gentry in the Highland Park area on Wednesday afternoon. When Leto threw out the first pitch in Thursday’s Celebrity Pro-Am Coast Guard Charity Softball Game, excited fans stormed the mound and delayed the game for nearly twenty minutes.
While Leto’s presence caused an excited stir at this year’s carnival, celebrity appearances at Grand Haven’s Coast Guard Festival are nothing new. Oprah Winfrey’s ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl in 2009 caused a near-riot, and last year’s viral video of Kim Kardashian throwing-up after riding The Zipper has now been seen more than 5 million times on YouTube. Older folks may even remember when Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. got arrested for drunk & disorderly behavior during the 1966 Coast Guard Festival.