Suicide Squad is, like, really close now. Can you feel it? We've been inundated with teasers, trailers, and surprisingly dope soundtrack cuts for what feels like years at this point. But it's finally happening next week. Jared Leto, the latest full-blown method actor to tackle the iconic Joker, opened up to Rolling Stone about how he got into character and the difficulty of honoring the revered Dark Knight performance of the late Heath Ledger.
"Heath did an impeccable, perfect performance as the Joker," Leto told RS in the interview released Wednesday. "It's one of the best performances ever in cinema. I had met Heath before. I didn't know him well, but he was a beautiful person." The shadow of Ledger's classic take on The Joker loomed large over Leto's preparation for the role, though the Oscar-winning actor ultimately made peace with any doubts.
"I think had it only been portrayed by Heath and it was never a comic book, maybe I would have felt that would be inappropriate," Leto said. "But I thought that given the history, it was OK. The good thing about other people having done this is that you know what direction not to head in." By now, we all have a pretty good idea which direction Leto ended up taking:
Leto's joker, a role he prepped for by watching YouTube videos of real-life "violent crimes" until he simply couldn't take it anymore, was mostly a hit on the Suicide Squad set. But all that chatter about Leto sending used condoms to the cast? That may have been a bit of an exaggeration. "Look, they weren't used condoms," director David Ayer told RS. "Let's be real here. They're removed from their packages, but it wasn't actually used. And, of course, I was mortified. Like, 'Jared, put that stuff away! Get that out of here, what are you doing?'"
Peep the full Rolling Stone interview, which also includes Leto's thoughts on Burning Man orgies and psychedelics, here. Then see the fruits of his labor when Suicide Squad hits theaters Aug. 5.