With under a week to go until the long anticipated Suicide Squad, fans are assembling their own squads in preparation for what is without a doubt going to be the biggest movie of the summer. I myself am going opening night with a friend, and I could not be more excited! In all honesty, I have no idea how I’m going to last these last few days. But new clips and interviews are definitely helping, and Jared Leto’s most recent one is enough to last me for a long while.
Leto’s Joker is one of the most anticipated characters, under only the fabulous Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, of the film. And he takes that very seriously. In an interview with Good Morning America, he says, “This character has been written about, acted, interpreted, reinterpreted, reimagined for 75 years. So to be asked to take the baton and run with it was quite an honor and a responsibility.”
The Joker is such a key character. In my opinion, he’s the best Batman villain. And the man who last portrayed him, the late Heath Ledger, did such a brilliant job that many fans feel it is impossible to follow. And I see where they’re coming from. Ledger completely immersed himself in that character and stole the spotlight. Leto couldn’t agree more. In a story in The Rolling Stone, Leto says that “it’s one of the best performances ever in cinema.” But in his opinion, and mine as well, what makes this new creation work is that it’s a new take. Ledger wasn’t the first to portray the Clown Prince of Crime though so far has been the best. There are a lot of interpretations of this character, and Leto worked hard to ensure this was his own.
There’s no need to retell the story of the infamous gifts that the cast received from The Joker himself. Leto didn’t break character on set and while that would have been extremely terrifying at first, it grew to be a source of entertainment for the cast and crew. His nickname “Smiley” was appropriate.
He did his research when getting into character; he would watch real footage of violent crimes. He points out that The Joker is familiar and comfortable with violence, so he had to learn how to be. It’s kind of scary how much Leto did to embody this character, but it’s also exciting and inspiring. He’s completely invested and committed.
Then there’s one of the most important aspects of The Joker: the laugh. As you can imagine, it took a lot of experimentation. Mr. J took to the streets of NYC and Toronto, laughing out loud and watching people’s reactions. It’s actually a brilliant method. “When I started to hone in on this laugh,” Leto says, “I realized it was the one that really…people would turn around and be like, what the hell is that?” The Joker’s laugh is the epitome of insanity. It’s comical, maniacal, and unhinged. It’s off-putting. Check it out for yourself!