Suicide Squad's Jared Leto Explains Why He Did Something Different With His Joker


Jared Leto looks at The Joker as a Shakespearean level character. That's the core of how he approached the Clown Prince of Crime for Suicide Squad, something he found important because of what's come before at the talents of folks like Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Mark Hamill, and others.

"The work that's been done on this character by so many people before me has been so impactful," Leto told EW, "so incredible, so much fun, so profound, so risky, that it's a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility."

He looks at playing The Joker the same way someone might approach a role in a Shakespeare play that's been so well-defined by many actors before him.

"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," Leto said. "He was written brilliantly when he was first shared with the world 75 years ago."

He said that he "had to make it [his] own," and ultimately, he's "just really grateful [he] had the opportunity."

Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5, 2016.

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