Throughout the news cycle covering Suicide Squad's development, Jared Leto's various quirks in his role of The Joker have been documented at length. The man knows when to go total method, and this role is certainly no exception. In fact, he's recently spoken about how he crafted his take on one of the most important characteristics of the Clown Prince of Crime: his laugh.
Out of all places, Leto's discussion about finding the Joker's laugh took place during an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box. To fine tune that laconic and oh-so disturbing chuckle we've heard in almost every trailer for Suicide Squad, Jared Leto used the following method of trial and error:
I worked on the laugh walking around the streets of New York and Toronto, and I would kind of walk around the streets and see what laugh would kind of get under people’s skin. You know if you hear someone laugh at a restaurant, it’s a little jarring. Yeah, I tried them out and I kind of got to a place where I would laugh and people would always turn around, like, ‘Who is this creepy guy behind me?
Reading about his special method of tweaking his maniacal laugh reminds us that not only is Jared Leto a Method actor of a pretty high degree, he's also pretty comfortable with shattering people's pre-conceived boundaries of personal space. After all, this is the same man that sent some rather unique gifts to his co-workers, with everything from rats to used condoms being thrown into the mix. So an oddball chuckle on the streets of New York and Toronto isn't exactly the most shocking surprise coming from Leto's transformation into one of the DC Universe's most iconic villains, but it could possibly be the most unsettling.
Just look at any portrayal of the Joker in the history of filmed entertainment, and you'll see varying degrees of both menace and merriment present in the laugh of whoever is playing the role. Cesar Romero had the memorable laugh of a clown who's more camp that chaotic, while Jack Nicholson had a deep, booming laugh that threatened to push the button and/or pull the trigger at a moment's notice. And, of course, Heath Ledger's Joker laugh was one that was both jagged, and extremely unhinged – promising spontaneity with every breath. With all of that history bearing down on Jared Leto and his Suicide Squad debut as the Joker, having as much research at his disposal is one of the best moves the man could have ever made. If he plays his cards right, he'll have the last laugh against those who were initially skeptical of his casting.
Suicide Squad laughs its way into theaters on August 5th.