‘Suicide Squad’ Star Jared Leto Talks About His “Shakespearean” Joker Role
Iconic Batman villain The Joker is many things: psychotic, sinister, exceedingly (and gleefully) violent and very intimidating. The last thing you might call him is “Shakespearean.” But that’s just how Suicide Squad star Jared Leto — who’s been cast in the role of Batman’s legendary super villain — describes him.
In a new interview with Billboard, Leto was predictably asked about his role in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad film, and although he obviously couldn’t say much, he did give his thoughtful take on portraying The Joker:
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…
Do you mind if I eat a little? 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.
Leto appears to be somewhat in awe of the part and perhaps a little intimidated, as he should be. The Joker was last portrayed on film by the late, great Heath Ledger, who gave what many consider to be the definitive performance of the villain. Cue the inevitable comparisons between Leto and Ledger’s performances when Suicide Squad hits theaters.
Also, if you’re into knowing these kinds of things, Leto is apparently gaining weight for the part, indicating that we might get a brawnier version of the typically wily character. Leto is now eating for two: himself and The Joker. Apparently he’s bad at eating? That’s news, I guess.
Ayer is currently in production on Suicide Squad, which is scheduled to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.