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Jared Leto talks playing the Joker in David Ayer's Suicide Squad

02.20.2015

Suicide Squad David Ayer Jared Leto

Jared Leto hasn't talked that much about how he will be portraying The Joker in SUICIDE SQUAD, but during a conversation with Billboard, the actor revealed he's gaining weight in preparation for the role.

I'm trying to gain a lot of weight. It means I have to eat every couple of hours -- and I'm terrible at eating a lot.

The Joker has almost always been pretty damn thin in the comics, so I doubt we'll be getting a chunky Joker to match Ben Affleck's bulky Batman. Leto was also apparently eating vegan tacos during the interview (not the fattiest of foods), but I do think it's interesting that Leto is trying to put on some weight for the part. Maybe director David Ayer thinks he's a little too skinny for The Joker?

The DALLAS BUYERS CLUB actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman went on to explain what drew him to the role.

The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character -- that's what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right? [He's] this beautiful disaster of a character -- what a big challenge.

I'm pumped to see how Jared Leto will look as the villain in SUICIDE SQUAD, but I also I can't wait to hear his (hopefully creepy as hell) Joker laugh. While I'm not sure if Leto will be able to top the Heath Ledger version from THE DARK KNIGHT, I'm very confident he has what it takes to deliver a fantastic and intense take on the character.

SUICIDE SQUAD will be in theaters on August 5, 2016.

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Source: Billboard

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7:23AM on 02/23/2015
I think that Ledger, Nicolson and Romero have all portrayed the Joker in different brilliant ways. But we are yet too see a true live action portal of the Joker as he is in the Comics and graphic novels maybe this well be the one or again another great performance of a take on one of the more interesting Villains in the DC Universe.
I think that Ledger, Nicolson and Romero have all portrayed the Joker in different brilliant ways. But we are yet too see a true live action portal of the Joker as he is in the Comics and graphic novels maybe this well be the one or again another great performance of a take on one of the more interesting Villains in the DC Universe.
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12:37AM on 02/22/2015

What I love about Joker

We can never replace Heath Ledger as an actor, but there will always be a Joker. A recast will happen, is 8 years too soon? What of Cesar Romero? Everyone thought Nicholson was the best, then Ledger showed an even darker version. Mark Hamill had the voice and is my personal favorite portrayal. Joker can be fat, skinny, empathetic, a genius, lunatic, old, young doesn't matter. His personality and skills change depending on the situation. Joker always wants to prove that anyone can become like
We can never replace Heath Ledger as an actor, but there will always be a Joker. A recast will happen, is 8 years too soon? What of Cesar Romero? Everyone thought Nicholson was the best, then Ledger showed an even darker version. Mark Hamill had the voice and is my personal favorite portrayal. Joker can be fat, skinny, empathetic, a genius, lunatic, old, young doesn't matter. His personality and skills change depending on the situation. Joker always wants to prove that anyone can become like him.The best thing Leto can do for the Joker is change the status quo and do something different.
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2:42AM on 02/21/2015
Had to do a double take of that picture, thought Joker was recast with Zac Efron. Ledger owned and I am not sure we will ever find anyone better than he was in the role, but that is not the goal here to be better, the goal is to just be the Joker. And since I still enjoy Nicholson's version also, there is always potential for a new version of an enjoyable Joker.
Had to do a double take of that picture, thought Joker was recast with Zac Efron. Ledger owned and I am not sure we will ever find anyone better than he was in the role, but that is not the goal here to be better, the goal is to just be the Joker. And since I still enjoy Nicholson's version also, there is always potential for a new version of an enjoyable Joker.
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10:24PM on 02/20/2015

Beautiful disaster? Ugh.

This guy and his emo bullshit are totally wrong for the Joker. He has no depth. I know fanboys think he's a great actor because he won an Oscar (because Cuba Gooding Jr. and Melissa Leo have really set the world on fire too) but he's not. His one note scenery chewing in DBC was not great acting. Please point to one performance outside of DBC that could be called great with a straight face and I'll concede the point.

American Psycho, Fight Club and the Thin Red Line do not count. He had an
This guy and his emo bullshit are totally wrong for the Joker. He has no depth. I know fanboys think he's a great actor because he won an Oscar (because Cuba Gooding Jr. and Melissa Leo have really set the world on fire too) but he's not. His one note scenery chewing in DBC was not great acting. Please point to one performance outside of DBC that could be called great with a straight face and I'll concede the point.

American Psycho, Fight Club and the Thin Red Line do not count. He had an incredibly small part in American Psycho and was nothing special. He barely spoke in Fight Club and he DIDN'T even speak in Thin Red Line. Sooooo, what else? Getting fat for a part is dedication, but not automatically great acting, and no one saw that movie because it was mediocre. He was fine in Lord of War and Requiem for a Dream but he didn't stand out at all. He's a mediocre, run-of-the-mill pretty boy movie star. Not an actor. Ledger got doubted too, but he had a body of work you could point to and understand why he was chosen.

As much as I like Ayer, he cast this because of Leto's recent Oscar win and name. It's going to inevitably be compared to Ledger and eviscerated.
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7:53PM on 02/20/2015
First off, I love Leto as an actor. He is memorable, convincing, and truly puts all of himself into every role. Lets e honest though, with it being so recent especially, no one is going to top Ledger. I think the best think Leto can do is not play the Joker similar to Ledger. Emulate a more Batman the Animated series cartoonish psychotic. I could see Leto bringing Mark Hamill's Joker to real life.
First off, I love Leto as an actor. He is memorable, convincing, and truly puts all of himself into every role. Lets e honest though, with it being so recent especially, no one is going to top Ledger. I think the best think Leto can do is not play the Joker similar to Ledger. Emulate a more Batman the Animated series cartoonish psychotic. I could see Leto bringing Mark Hamill's Joker to real life.
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3:59PM on 02/20/2015
It'll be hard to top Ledger's Joker.
It'll be hard to top Ledger's Joker.
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2:34PM on 02/20/2015
All the anti-Jared comments are getting downvoted but I'll say this. I really hope he does well in this role, gives us his own take on it and does something memorable with it. I think he was awesome in Requiem, I just don't like him very much from how he comes off in interviews. He seems pretentious or self-righteous to me. Whether he really is or not isn't important - what's important is that he acknowledges how huge this is for the fans. Forget the studios and the general audiences. Just give
All the anti-Jared comments are getting downvoted but I'll say this. I really hope he does well in this role, gives us his own take on it and does something memorable with it. I think he was awesome in Requiem, I just don't like him very much from how he comes off in interviews. He seems pretentious or self-righteous to me. Whether he really is or not isn't important - what's important is that he acknowledges how huge this is for the fans. Forget the studios and the general audiences. Just give us a real Joker. Do the character justice.
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2:11PM on 02/20/2015

No doubts

Leto is a committed actor so him bulking up for the Joker doesn't mean he's going to be buff, it just means he's not going to look like a crackhead like he did in Dallas Buyers Club.
Leto is a committed actor so him bulking up for the Joker doesn't mean he's going to be buff, it just means he's not going to look like a crackhead like he did in Dallas Buyers Club.
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1:15PM on 02/20/2015

Gain weight?

Eh?
I'm not against Leto at all, because he's a decent enough actor, but mainly because I no longer have any stake in anything DC are putting together anymore. But why is he gaining weight? Will we ever see a live action Joker who actually resembles THE JOKER?
Eh?
I'm not against Leto at all, because he's a decent enough actor, but mainly because I no longer have any stake in anything DC are putting together anymore. But why is he gaining weight? Will we ever see a live action Joker who actually resembles THE JOKER?
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11:42AM on 02/20/2015

The Dark Knight Returns

Joker was kind of bulky in The Dark Knight Returns. Since they are using that as a big influence on Affleck's Batman maybe are doing the same with Leto's Joker.
Joker was kind of bulky in The Dark Knight Returns. Since they are using that as a big influence on Affleck's Batman maybe are doing the same with Leto's Joker.
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10:48AM on 02/20/2015

The quesion in't whether Jared Leto will make a great Joker

(hint: he will), it's whether the rest of the film will be any good. I must admit that having Will Smith in the mix is dangerous: the guy still thinks he's an A-list actor with an ego to match. This could seriously unbalance this film.
(hint: he will), it's whether the rest of the film will be any good. I must admit that having Will Smith in the mix is dangerous: the guy still thinks he's an A-list actor with an ego to match. This could seriously unbalance this film.
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3:49PM on 02/20/2015
I'd be more worried about Robbie playing an action hero for the first time in her career and Delevingne trying acting for the first time in her career. Smith might blow up the production behind the scenes, but he always turns in an adequate performance. He hasn't actually acted in a decade, but he's hardly the weak link here.
I'd be more worried about Robbie playing an action hero for the first time in her career and Delevingne trying acting for the first time in her career. Smith might blow up the production behind the scenes, but he always turns in an adequate performance. He hasn't actually acted in a decade, but he's hardly the weak link here.
10:15AM on 02/20/2015
I honestly don't think he was the best candidate for the role. And if it wasn't for Dallas Buyer's Club, most fans would be up in arms about him playing the Joker.
I honestly don't think he was the best candidate for the role. And if it wasn't for Dallas Buyer's Club, most fans would be up in arms about him playing the Joker.
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11:37AM on 02/20/2015
I know I rag on you often but this isnt one of those times.

You are 100% incorrect. Jared Leto has proved that he is a solid and VERY compelling actor before he took his massive hiatus to do his 30 Seconds to Mars stuff

Prefontaine
Requiem for a Dream
Fight Club
Panic Room
Lord of War
Etc

He has been a fan favorite actor for many people who were seriously wondering if he'd ever return to acting and when he did with Dallas Buyers Club (yes I know he did Mr Nobody a few years back) he showed
I know I rag on you often but this isnt one of those times.

You are 100% incorrect. Jared Leto has proved that he is a solid and VERY compelling actor before he took his massive hiatus to do his 30 Seconds to Mars stuff

Prefontaine
Requiem for a Dream
Fight Club
Panic Room
Lord of War
Etc

He has been a fan favorite actor for many people who were seriously wondering if he'd ever return to acting and when he did with Dallas Buyers Club (yes I know he did Mr Nobody a few years back) he showed that he hadnt lost his edge and in fact he came back even STRONGER as an actor.
So including your statement that if it wasnt for Dallas Buyers Club is also a fallacy because if he has proven to people that he has what it takes because of WORK he HAS done. You cant say. Oh well you know. If it wasnt for this he wouldnt get the acclaim. Youre right. He probably wouldnt. But GUESS WHAT. HE DID. So you shouldnt go around assuming you know how every movie fan on Joblo thinks. This comment is just about as stupid as your claim that Heath Ledgers joker wasnt as good and it's only because he died that he got the recognition. Heath was getting recognition just from the trailer 1 that was released 2 months before his death.
3:50PM on 02/20/2015
I think he'll play crazy just fine. Not sure if he'll be a good all-around Joker, but I can't think of anyone who I'd be excited about in the role.
I think he'll play crazy just fine. Not sure if he'll be a good all-around Joker, but I can't think of anyone who I'd be excited about in the role.
10:13AM on 02/20/2015
Jared Leto sounds like such a douche.
Jared Leto sounds like such a douche.
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10:17AM on 02/20/2015
He's totally a douche. A super douche, even. He's also a phenomenal actor so I don't care how douchey he is.
He's totally a douche. A super douche, even. He's also a phenomenal actor so I don't care how douchey he is.
2:31PM on 02/20/2015
Agree with you completely. He always sounds like a pretentious or cocky bastard in his interviews. I also met him once and he was a total dick, not that I'm judging based on that alone. But it doesn't help lol. I also recall that interview where he was like "Yeah I won this little thing called an Oscar, you may have heard of it" or something along those lines. He's talented sure, just not very chill or subtle.
Agree with you completely. He always sounds like a pretentious or cocky bastard in his interviews. I also met him once and he was a total dick, not that I'm judging based on that alone. But it doesn't help lol. I also recall that interview where he was like "Yeah I won this little thing called an Oscar, you may have heard of it" or something along those lines. He's talented sure, just not very chill or subtle.
10:05AM on 02/20/2015
Maybe they want Leto to have more of what was Ledger's build, I dunno. Either way, curious to see where this goes. Pretty impressive on how fast it is coming along, much like Deadpool.
Maybe they want Leto to have more of what was Ledger's build, I dunno. Either way, curious to see where this goes. Pretty impressive on how fast it is coming along, much like Deadpool.
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9:51AM on 02/20/2015
Sounds awful.
Sounds awful.
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9:15AM on 02/20/2015

I was the guy who said Ledger would kill as Joker...

I don't see Leto doing well in this movie. He is obviously the star of the movie since everyone else is basically a C list actor these days (yes, Mr. Smith, you are no longer A or B list material)

I can't see Leto putting in the time and effort that Ledger did. I know Joker won't be a big part of this movie since his only scenes will be in the jail cell, but really I can't see him being that badass.

I don't see Leto doing well in this movie. He is obviously the star of the movie since everyone else is basically a C list actor these days (yes, Mr. Smith, you are no longer A or B list material)

I can't see Leto putting in the time and effort that Ledger did. I know Joker won't be a big part of this movie since his only scenes will be in the jail cell, but really I can't see him being that badass.

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10:02AM on 02/20/2015
I can see Leto putting in plenty of time into this character. He's JARED LETO. An over-devotion to creating a character is his thing.

As for Mr. Smith, if you're first billed in a film about to come out that cost $100 million, you're still A-list.
I can see Leto putting in plenty of time into this character. He's JARED LETO. An over-devotion to creating a character is his thing.

As for Mr. Smith, if you're first billed in a film about to come out that cost $100 million, you're still A-list.
10:07AM on 02/20/2015
You're dreaming if you think Leto is a bigger star right now than Will Smith. After Earth (Smith's biggest bomb), still made more domestically than Leto's last five movies combined (only two of which he had the lead role). Internationally After Earth made nearly double those same five films. I like Leto, but this is crazy talk regardless of Smith's decreased star power.
You're dreaming if you think Leto is a bigger star right now than Will Smith. After Earth (Smith's biggest bomb), still made more domestically than Leto's last five movies combined (only two of which he had the lead role). Internationally After Earth made nearly double those same five films. I like Leto, but this is crazy talk regardless of Smith's decreased star power.
9:12AM on 02/20/2015
Yea, not sure why he wants to gain weight. I'm still in the "this has potential" crowd. Leto always gives his all with his roles, but doesn't always knock it out of the park. I just think its going to be important for those making the film and for the fans to not compare with Ledgers Joker too much. Just look at the world this one is in with Aquaman, WW, etc. and find a tough but not based in reality version that hasn't been done before.
Yea, not sure why he wants to gain weight. I'm still in the "this has potential" crowd. Leto always gives his all with his roles, but doesn't always knock it out of the park. I just think its going to be important for those making the film and for the fans to not compare with Ledgers Joker too much. Just look at the world this one is in with Aquaman, WW, etc. and find a tough but not based in reality version that hasn't been done before.
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9:04AM on 02/20/2015
Theatrical would be the way to go. The Joker should be flashy and showy but also deeply, genuinely menacing beneath all of that. The "gain a lot of weight" comment did throw me for a loop though - Leto as he is right now seems like the ideal build for the Joker.
Theatrical would be the way to go. The Joker should be flashy and showy but also deeply, genuinely menacing beneath all of that. The "gain a lot of weight" comment did throw me for a loop though - Leto as he is right now seems like the ideal build for the Joker.
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