When Jared Leto was first announced as The Joker in Suicide Squad, the Oscar-winning actor wasn't who fans were expecting to take over the iconic role. As production started last year in Toronto, we learned that the actor was staying in character the entire time on the set. Stories about Jared Leto's bizarre antics began to surface. With just over four months left until Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5, Entertainment Weekly caught up with the actor, who shed some light on his approach to this iconic villain, saying he wanted to make his own mark with the character.
"The work that's been done on this character by so many people before me has been so impactful, so incredible, so much fun, so profound, so risky, that it's a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility. You just knew you had to do something different. You had to make it your own. That happens all the time. Whether you're a composer working on a piece of music that was written a century ago, or you're an actor on stage, reinterpreting a play, it's very common these days. Directors take on great works of cinema, actors reinterpret roles, that's been going on for a great deal of time. From Scarface to Hamlet. In some ways it's really interesting to reinterpret, redefine. It a weighty thing to do. But it's exciting. The Joker is one of those roles. He was written brilliantly when he was first shared with the world 75 years ago, or something crazy like that. And I think I'm just really grateful I had the opportunity."
The Joker has been portrayed by several iconic actors over the years, going all the way back to Cesar Romero's iconic portrayal in the original Batman TV series. Jack Nicholson first brought this villain to the big screen in 1989 with Tim Burton's Batman, with Heath Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of the villain in 2008's The Dark Knight. Many have wondered if Jared Leto will be able to either match or surpass Heath Ledger's legendary performance, but we won't know for sure until August 5.
Last week, director David Ayer teased that whenever Jared Leto had a scene on the set, crew members would even stop working just to watch him perform, with the director describing his work as "fascinating." We have also reported that the actor sent bizarre gifts to his co-stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie, which included a live rat and a dead hog, along with spent bullet casings. He even showed up to New York Comic Con in a unique disguise, taking pictures with fans who were dressed up as the Joker.
While all of these antics make for great headlines, it still remains to be seen how DC Comics fans will react to his performance in this superhero adventure, when Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5. Do you think there's any chance Jared Leto will be able to surpass Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning performance? Chime in with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more on Suicide Squad.