Jared Leto was so intense and disturbing while in full Joker character on the set of Suicide Squad, cast and crew actively avoided him, according to director David Ayer.
The 44-year-old Academy Award-winning actor portrays the iconic DC Comics super-villain in the forthcoming action picture and it seems his depiction of the persona was so disturbingly poignant, his colleagues went out of their way to evade him.
“People kept their distance,” Suicide Squad director Ayer told USA Today. “It’s a scary character to tackle.”
The Joker first appeared in Batman comics in 1940, and the character has been played by several actors over the decades, with late thespian Heath Ledger picking up a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of the villain in 2008 picture The Dark Knight.
Ayer believes Leto somehow managed to honor the history of Joker in Suicide Squad while simultaneously adding a fresh essence to the character.
“This iteration of him, people will realize there really is a continuity of history — there is a lot of respect for what the Joker represents, who he is as a character,” Ayer explained. “He is the best known villain in fiction so there’s an incredible responsibility there to also be faithful to what he is but at the same time push him into this next world, next time, next phase.”
According to Ayer, it helped Leto tremendously to remain in character as much as possible.
“I love helping actors find what methodology works best for them,” the director said. “It’s like tailoring a suit — it’s not one size fits all. But it really made an event when he would show up on set. There was almost a pageantry to him, which did translate into the character and the power on screen he has.”
Jared Leto’s The Joker
A new Suicide Squad trailer premiered last night on CW, and it gives fans a better look at Will Smith’s Deadshot, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and another teaser look at Jared Leto’s Joker.
The film also stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis and Jai Courtney, reaches theaters in August 2016!