Following next year’s Batman V Superman, which will finally launch the DC Cinematic Universe and introduce many of the world’s key heroes (read: Dawn of Justice), David Ayer’s Suicide Squad will debut an entire slate of supervillains (read: “Dawn of Injustice“) – many of whom have never been realized on the big screen, much less brought to live-action life in general. Even so, fan attention has predominantly targeted the one villain who has seen the big screen, many times before: the Joker.
Ever since Warner Bros. officially confirmed Jared Leto’s casting as the Clown Prince of Crime, all eyes and camera lenses have been on the Oscar winning actor. Indeed, with Heath Ledger’s iconic grin and growl still fresh in audience minds, the pressure on Leto to at least live up to his predecessor is unparalleled – something not lost on Leto’s Suicide Squad costars. Both Scott Eastwood and Jai Courtney have addressed the extreme pressure and hype surrounding Leto, while also teasing his intense method acting style. Now, another member of the cast has spoken up regarding just how far Leto is going for the role.
While speaking with E! Online at the premiere of his latest film, Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, Adam Beach (who plays Slipknot in Suicide Squad) revealed that when production first started, Leto sent his costars some rather unexpected gifts before he arrived on set.
He sent [Margot Robbie] a nice love letter with a black box with a rat in it—a live rat. It was beautiful. Then he sent bullets to Will [Smith] with a letter, and a dead hog…Basically, what he said was, ‘Guys, I can’t be there but I want you to know I’m doing my work as hard as you guys.’ The video he showed is in character. It blew our minds away. Then we realized that day, this is real.
Considering Leto is known for his method acting, this certainly isn’t the first time the actor has submerged himself in his work. He had previously gained 67 lbs for the role of Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27 and also lost 40 lbs for his Oscar-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club. And we’ve seen firsthand his dramatic physical transformation to portray a brawnier, more physically intimidating version of Batman’s archenemy. That said, this is the first time we’ve heard anything specific regarding Leto’s emotional and psychological transformation for the role – and it sounds appropriately twisted.
Beach went on to describe his experience seeing Leto as the Joker in person for the first time.
He encompasses this beautiful man and he shows it in, ‘Hello, how are you?,’ but in an instant, he goes to psychotic behavior where you’re in fear. But you love him because he has both of those genuine sides.
This isn’t the first time the word “beautiful” has been used to describe the DCCU’s new iteration of the villain. Leto, himself, called his Joker a “beautiful disaster” and referenced the character’s “Shakespearean” qualities. The actor has been seen wearing designer suits while sporting slicked-back fluorescent green hair and bleached skin. Together, the physical components of the character create a rather clean-cut, refined look – directly contrasting Ledger’s grimy green mop, smudged make-up, and scarred skin – with just enough edge (see: tattoos and grill) to showcase his inner madness and sadism.
And we know from set photos that this inner madness will show itself frequently, lending credence to the fact that Leto’s Joker will be a more unhinged and malevolent enemy than past Batman movies have ever depicted before.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.
Source: E! Online