“This is a character that… has absolutely no rules."
Playing the role of iconic super villain "The Joker" is as daunting a task as there is in Hollywood. Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger have both spoken about how draining the role is and the newest to the Joker brotherhood, Jared Leto, has echoed their statements, going as far as to say it changed him forever.
“Yeah… [the Joker] changed me forever.”
Leto's role as The Joker is one of the major draws for the upcoming Suicide Squad film which will officially hit theaters on August 5th, with select theaters showing tomorrow.
As a method actor, he completely engulfed himself in The Joker's world and went as far as to give his co-stars some bizarre "gifts" which were a direct reflection of the deep, dark journey he was traveling down.
“It was interesting to do because the Joker loves to play games he loves to manipulate and that was part of the reason to do that and when you do give a gift to someone even in real life you think about, ‘What do I get them?’ ‘Who that person is to you?’ ‘What do they like?’ So that immediately started to be really good homework to me… I gave Deadshot a briefcase full of bullets. It was kind of a message, it was kind of a threat, it was kind of a reminder… I wrote every character a note – a poem. What it did was that it started me on a journey into thinking what these people are, and it was a lot of fun.”
While the character of The Joker certainly has some structure, pertaining to what the crowd expects, Leto also mentioned the freedom he had in this role which really had no boundaries.
“This is a character that… has absolutely no rules. You can do whatever the hell you want to [and] there is no good or bad take. There is no right or wrong answer. [That’s] really really rare and intoxicating.”
“The character is completely insane [and a] madman with green hair and a great smile. I think the Joker is so much fun. That is what is infectious about [him]… When I got asked to play the joker I didn’t really have a big gregarious laugh personally, so I was a bit terrified. This is a guy who’s laughing, and is laughing in a way that is very unique. So I worked on it, worked on it, worked on it and came up with something that is… very strange, I have to admit.”
If nothing else, Suicide Squad will be worth the watch just to see Leto's rendition of The Joker, even if the movie as a whole doesn't live up to the hype.