A Period of Detachment: Jared Leto Talks Playing the Joker in Suicide Squad

Credit: Empire Magazine
Credit: Empire Magazine

We all know how serious Jared Leto has taken his job as playing Mister J.

Through filming Suicide Squad he sent various presents to his cast mates, including a live rat to both Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and Will Smith (Deadshot). There has also been many reports from the other cast saying that they never even saw Leto out of character the entire time they were filming.

There has no question about the amount of dedication he has given to this character. But never has he talked about the effect he felt in playing the Joker, until now.

In an interview with Empire magazine for their December issue, Leto talks about the difficulties in playing such a dark character.

“There was definitely a period of…detachment. I took a pretty deep dive,” he said. “But this was a unique opportunity and I couldn’t imagine doing it another way. It was fun, playing those psychological games.”

He continues to describe going ‘Method’ as a painful one.

None of this is surprising, but it is interesting to read about. I think if it wasn’t dark and painful then it wouldn’t be the right way to play the Joker. This is what makes these characters interesting, but also not something that every actor could portray. That is why they needed to have a constant on set therapist.

Mister J is an intense character; he should be scary and not someone you would want to encounter…ever.

Of course, Jared Leto playing the character challenges that a little, but I think, from the images in the Empire article that made their way on the internet yesterday, he is dark and frightening and I can’t wait to see his performance.

Jared Leto posted another look at his character on Facebook:

Suicide Squad also stars Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns), Joel Kinnaman (The Killing), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), and Jai Courtney (The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Terminator: Genysis). It hits theaters August 5, 2016.

Kelli Heidelberger