Oscar-nominated actor Jared Leto credits his mother for inspiring him to work hard and reach his life goals.

The 42-year-old Dallas Buyers Club star says that his mum, Constance, always encouraged him to aim for the stars.

Speaking at the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills yesterday (Febuary 10), Leto said: ''We were born very poor and into pretty humble surroundings. My mother always wanted to do something better with her life and for her children.

''She was a dreamer and a worker. The biggest lesson she taught me was to dream and then to do the work that it takes to make dreams a reality. It has been fun to bring her around.

''The best part of these opportunities to stand up and say something is to be able to thank the people who have believed in you for so long. I could spend every single one of these events thanking my mother. She's the best.''

Leto, who plays transgender AIDS patient Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, explained that he likes to have "fun" with his wardrobe at media events, adding: ''I don't dress up very much. I don't wear a lot of suits or sports jackets, but you have to have a little fun with it and you want to feel like yourself. Not like your agent.''