A lot of people have been talking about what Jared Leto was like on the set of Suicide Squad. The picture painted by numerous co-stars is one of an actor so dedicated to the performance that he never broke character. Now we have the first word from the man himself about what it was like playing the clown prince of crime and the picture he paints is twisted and weird.
Speaking with Empire Magazine (via ComicBookMovie), Leto’s description of the experience creating The Joker is...vivid to say the least.
I took a pretty deep dive. But this was a unique opportunity and I couldn't imagine doing it another way. It was fun, playing those psychological games. But at the same time it was very painful, like giving birth out of my prick hole.
So, yeah, that’s about the most painful analogy we can contemplate. The descriptions of Leto being always in character have been going around for months, as several of the man’s co-stars have discussed the dedication he had to the role. While his actions were certainly strange, and we can see what he was doing being fun, but this is the first time we’ve considered the dark side of playing such a dark character. It seems Leto remained in character outside of filming as well, even going so far as to call co-star Jim Parrack and give him random orders throughout the day. Leto says there was a period of detachment during filming as well, implying that he may have lost himself in the role to some extent.
Remaining in character is something a few actors do but making that decision with such an off-the-wall character had to be a unique experience. He says he enjoyed the psychological games, like sending dead hogs as gifts to his co-stars, but it got to the point that several of those same people were literally afraid to speak to him. That has to be isolating. Of course, that isolation likely fed the character, but it could also be part of the painful side of the experience that the actor mentions.
Jared Leto was a controversial choice to play The Joker, especially following the Academy Award winning performance that Heath Ledger made in The Dark Knight. The role is iconic and the last performance has become so. Following that up is a monumental task. The comparison will always come, and the goal has to be to make the character significantly different while making an equally memorable performance. While we’ve seen little of Leto’s Joker thus far we know that Leto’s version is physically very different. Most of the rest we’re still waiting to see.
Now that we’re starting to get a complete look at the role, it only makes us more curious about Suicide Squad and seeing the DC universe Joker on the screen. Will Leto be returning to the role for future movies? Will he be able to?