“Have you seen the movie? Did you like it? Do you think the Joker is okay?” Jared Leto rattles off as soon as we sit down. The Oscar-winner is eager to get the verdict on his performance of the Joker in “Suicide Squad” — but he doesn’t dare to read fans’ reactions on social media. After all, Gotham City’s resident madman has been played by some of the greats: Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill (he voiced the animated series) and, of course, Heath Ledger, whose performance Leto describes as “perfect.”
When do you plan to see the movie?
I won’t! I haven’t even watched the trailers.
How did you feel about the character when you read the script?
The Joker is a character so alive, so nuanced that you can’t put all of it on a page. It’s a dream. He is the most tri-dimensional character I've ever played. I played some wild ones before, but the Joker is a character without any rules. There is no right or wrong answer. I can jump on the table and pull my hands down or cut your lips off — they are both good choices. He is out of his mind in such an intoxicated way. In his mind, the sun, the Earth, the moon are all orbiting around him. So it’s a really powerful place to be. It’s really fun. Could you tell I was having fun?
Yes. And this Joker has a mob mentality.
Yeah. We looked at cartel leaders. I’m not gonna say one in particular. You can see the gold medallion, some of the bling and the outfits, which are very much like a cartel leader.
Which Joker outfit was your favorite?
I liked the tuxedo, it’s the best. There’s something about the elegance that made it feel really good.
What was the most challenging part of playing the Joker?
With the Joker it’s the expectations and the pressure that comes along with that. And then the responsibility, because the character is so loved. And there has been great work done, you know — Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill. There are all these people who have done powerful work. There is a lot of pressure and a lot of responsibility to deliver something that is adequate and that doesn’t let people down.