The Joker character has been around for 75 years now and has been portrayed by such legends as Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger, both of whom could attest to the intensity of the role (nuff said in Heath Ledger’s case).
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Jared Leto spoke out this week about his own portrayal of the Joker and how director David Ayer gave him cart blanche to do whatever TF he wanted as the villain.
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.
Leto stayed in chracter for the entire shooting of Suicide Squad, sending his co-starts weird poems and at one point – a gift hamper of used condoms and anal beads.
Yeah… [the Joker] changed me forever.
Clearly anyone who plays The Joker after what happened to Heath Ledger is going to be saying these same things Jared Leto is saying. That the method acting was so intense that it changed them forever and almost drove them insane. That they’ll live with the character’s demons for the rest of their lives or whatever. We get it – it’s a pretty hardcore role to play. I mean it would be pretty lame if Jared Leto came out and said, “yeah, it was alright playing the Joker. Just another day at the office.” Batman fans want to believe that The Joker will drive whichever actor plays him insane and who’s Jared Leto to take that away from them. As long as he doesn’t go off overdosing on painkillers.
Especially when they’re shifting so many of these awesome Joker action figures.