Jared Leto is known for committing to his performances, but he doubled down on his efforts for his turn as the Joker in Suicide Squad. Rumors that he never broke character during filming have long been circulating, but viewers have since learned even more details about how fully Leto committed to the role.
Here are five crazy things that Leto did, all in the name of transforming into the iconic DC villain.
1. He stayed in character throughout filming
Leto’s co-stars have confirmed that the actor never broke character during his time on set. In fact, Will Smith insists he has yet to meet the real Leto. “[Suicide Squad] is insane. I’ve never actually met Jared Leto. We worked together for six months and we’ve never exchanged a word outside of ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’” he told Apple Beats 1 Radio station in October. “We’ve never said ‘Hello’ or ‘Good day.’ I’ve only ever spoken to him with me as Deadshot and him as The Joker. I literally have not met him yet. So, the first time I see him will be ‘Hey, Jared. What’s up?’ Not a single word exchanged off-camera. He was all in on the Joker.”
Co-star Jai Courtney has also previously backed those claims, stating, “I haven’t seen [Leto], since we started working, out-of-character, let’s put it that way.”
Perhaps his commitment shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given his inspiration for the role. Director David Ayer said recently told Yahoo that Leto’s methods resulted from a carefully constructed inspired by — of all things — drug lords on Instagram. “A lot of it has to do with creating a character with some kind of history and footprint in our world,” he said. “And not have this sacrosanct being outside of our continuum, our reality. If a guy like him really existed today, where would he come from? How would he do business? Who would he know? What would he look like? In my mind, I took a lot of inspiration from drug lords on Instagram. It’s a great way to understand the lifestyle of a villain.”