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Suicide Squad: Jared Leto went the Heath Ledger way to get his Joker act right

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To play The Joker in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto met psychopaths and people who have done ‘horrendous crimes’.

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Suicide Squad has created a lot of buzz since its first trailer was released in January 2016. This year’s most-anticipated film sees all the supervillains together. In this anti-hero film, The Joker’s character is essayed by Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto. The last actor who donned The Joker avatar was Heath Ledger, who won the posthumous Academy Award for his role in The Dark Knight (2008).

Of course, playing The Joker after Heath Ledger is extremely difficult, given the heights the late actor had achieved playing that role. But Jared Leto has apparently put in a lot of hard work to fit into his character. He went on to meet “psychopaths and people who had committed horrendous crimes,” Leto said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“I spent some time with those people themselves, people who have been institutionalised for great periods of time,” said Jared.

According to him, to play a character such as this, one has to “become part detective, part writer, and for me that’s my favourite time of the entire process, the discovering, the uncovering, and the building of a character. Yeah, it’s really fun.”

Jared Leto said “… the Joker has been redefined, reinvented many times before. I think the fun thing about it is when people have done it in the past, there is some spirit of The Joker essence that they keep, but they either build upon something or tear something down and start again at the beginning. For me, I knew once I had gone through the process of educating myself, I had to throw everything away and start from the beginning and really build this from the ground up. It was a transformative process. There was a physical transformation. There was a physical conditioning.”

The 44-year-old actor knew no bounds when it came to giving his 100 per cent for the film. “I knew I had to be committed as much as possible,” Leto said, “I had to be committed beyond belief. And I did what I needed to do to deliver the best I possibly could.”

While Leto went on to develop the DC comics’ bad*ss villain, Suicide Squad director David Ayer had “some very specific ideas” for the character’s look.

It was Ayer who came up with the tattoo idea; basically, getting Leto tattooed all over, to redefine the famous character. “He does feel like a modern-day gangster, because… he’s always been a gangster,” said Ayer.

We all have heard stories of how Jared Leto lived up to his character as he gifted used condoms and sticky Playboy magazines to his cast-mates.

Will Smith, who plays Deadshot in the film, said, “He went full Joker. He really set the tone. He wasn’t playing with it. He was dead serious as an actor. He was going in and he was 100 percent going into this character.”

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