Why Jared Leto Got So Into The Joker For Suicide Squad

Joker Suicide Squad

The Joker has been Batman's arch-nemesis in the comics since 1940, and starting in the 1960s, he's been portrayed numerous times in other media. The latest actor to tackle the Clown Prince of Crime was Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. It's no secret that Leto went extremely method with his Joker performance, with the stories of his behind-the-scenes antics almost sounding apocryphal. While opinions vary about whether Leto went too far with this approach, the actor has provided another reason for why he got so into the Joker role.

In a new Suicide Squad behind-the-scenes clip (provided by Collider), Jared Leto explained how in order to properly portray The Joker, he had to explore elements of the character that hadn't been touched on before, which meant pushing certain boundaries. He explained:

This role has always been interpreted so beautifully, but then there's the other side: What else can you uncover? What other parts of this story or this life, what can you do that hasn't been done? That side of me that likes exploration, that likes adventure, that likes to push the envelope, that was set on fire immediately. I knew that I was going to have to dive really deep and go to a place that I've never gone before.

Jared Leto was the fourth actor to play The Joker in live action on the big screen, following Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, so it was inevitable that he would need to do something different with the character to make him stand out in the DC Extended Universe. He certainly accomplished that. According to other members of the Suicide Squad cast and crew, he never broke character on or off camera, and on top of that, he gave his fellow actors weird gifts to show just how crazy Joke can be. While this internal exploration may have been necessary to get in touch with his inner madman for the role, many will agree that giving a dead pig and used condoms that took his approach beyond method acting and into harassment territory.

Jared Leto's Joker certainly felt different enough from what we've seen in previous movies, so in that regard, it looks like the actor succeeded with going to that place he'd "never been before." However, there wasn't that much to see of him in Suicide Squad despite being advertised as a major player. Many of his moments were cut from the theatrical release, and his total amount of screen time added up to maybe 10 minutes at most. However, some of his deleted scenes will be reincorporated into the movie's Extended Cut, which will be released on Digital HD November 15 and arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on December 13.

There's no official word yet on if/when Jared Leto will reprise The Joker, but with Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie, Suicide Squad 2 and a Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey spinoff either on the way or in development, there are plenty of opportunities for him to return to the DCEU.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.