Jared Leto: Becoming the Joker
Published on April 15th, 2016 | Updated on June 6th, 2016 | By FanFest
We all knew Jared Leto was committed to his role as the Joker in Suicide Squad. But did we know just how committed he was? Leto recently did an EW interview where he talked about the journey to becoming the Joker.
“To the Joker, violence is a symphony. This is someone who gets an extreme reward from the act of violence and manipulation. Those are the songs he sings and he is very in tune with what makes people tick.” – Leto.
Will Smith, who’s set to play Deadshot, claims he’s never properly met Leto as he’s always been in character. Leto became the Joker.
“I think the Joker lives in between reality and another plane. Kind of a shaman in a way. It’s a very intoxicating role to take on. You have permission to break rules and to challenge yourself and anyone around you in a really unique way.” – Leto.
Along with sending cast mates creepy and disgusting gifts (rats, used condoms, a hog?) Leto said he spent some quality time with the criminally insane.
“I did meet with people that were experts, doctors, psychiatrists that dealt with psychopaths and people who had committed horrendous crimes, and then I spent some time with those people themselves, people who have been institutionalized for great periods of time. I guess when you take on a role, any role, you become part detective, part writer, and for me that’s my favorite time of the entire process, the discovering, the uncovering, and the building of a character.” – Leto.
Leto dove head first into this role and did his homework.
“I first started at the beginning, educating myself, researching, reading as much as I could, going back to the source material. And then at a certain point, I knew I had to stop doing that. Because the Joker has been redefined, reinvented many times before. I think the fun thing about it is when people have done it in the past, there is some spirit of the Joker essence that they keep, but they either build upon something or tear something down and start again at the beginning. For me, I knew once I had gone through the process of educating myself, I had to throw everything away and start from the beginning and really build this from the ground up. It was a transformative process. There was a physical transformation. There was a physical conditioning.” – Leto.
Will Leto live up to Heath Ledger’s Joker? We’ll find out when Suicide Squad crashes into theaters August 5.
When Beth “grows up” she wants to see her creations appear on the screen and stage. In her free time, Beth blogs about her love of craft beer and writes screenplays. She received her bachelors in journalism from Youngstown State and received her masters in communication from The University of Akron. She is honored to be a part of the FanFest family.