New Look at The Joker, Jared Leto Says Playing ‘Suicide Squad’ Character Was ‘Very Painful’
Suicide Squad is still a good 10 months away, but it’s apparently never too early to start getting people excited about the upcoming introduction of the new Joker. Jared Leto is on the cover of the new issue of Empire magazine in full Joker mode, and inside the pages, opens up for the first time about playing the character, admitting to his Method acting, saying, “I took a pretty deep dive.”
Previously, Suicide Squad star Will Smith says Jared Leto was so intense on set that the two of them never had one conversation outside of their characters. “Not a single word exchanged off-camera. He was all in on the Joker.” It wasn’t the only instance of Leto’s extreme behavior on set. He sent Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) a dead rat. He sent bullets to Smith. He ordered the actor who plays his henchman to go out, find a rose bush and spray paint the roses black.
Leto says all the reports are true, telling Empire:
There was definitely a period of… detachment. 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.
Hmm, having fun playing f—ed up psychological games? Sounds like someone we know…
At the same time, Leto does admit that the performance had some unintended psychological effects he’s still dealing with. “It was very painful, like giving birth out of my prick hole […] I think I’ll be cooling down for the rest of my life.”
Later in the article, Suicide Squad producer Charles Roven says that Leto came with a very different take on The Joker, including that the character is much older than we think and that he’s “a very successful and smart businessman besides being a sociopath.”
You can check out the full Empire cover below, plus a gallery of new Suicide Squad images from inside the magazine.
Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5, 2016.