Inarguably the most recognizable villain in modern fiction, the Joker, has been on quite the thrill ride during his 75-year history. In that time span, the character has redefined villainy, and it’s all thanks to the various artists, writers, actors and directors that have spear-headed him through his madness. A madness that has been reinvented in a myriad of ways, and according to Jared Leto, the newest actor to take on the Clown Prince of Crime, audiences can once again expect to see something completely different in Suicide Squad.
“…We walked in a completely new direction,” the actor told SuperHeroHype. “I think we knew that we had to do that. It was important to do that. When the Joker has been done and done so well, it gives you a bit of an indication of where you shouldn’t go. There’s a bit of a map there. That’s the good part about it.”
As a fan himself, Leto also spoke of the honor he feels in being trusted to step into the role. “It’s quite an honor. Joker has been written about in pop culture for 75 years. I’m just the latest in the long list of people who have redefined and reinvented this character. The actors, the voice actors, the television series, the writers, the artists and the fans. People have taken the Joker and reinvented and redefined for 75 years. It is really special to be asked to do that.”
Jared Leto discussed the steps he’s taken to bring the character to life before, but this time his on-screen beloved, Margot Robbie, was able to chime in as well with her thoughts on Harley Quinn. Robbie’s approach isn’t to reinvent her character, as this will be the on-again-off-again villain’s live action debut; instead she chose to find a way of better understanding Harley and her affinity for the Joker.
“I did a lot of research on mental illness and codependency,” she revealed. “I was trying to access a way in to understanding why she’s so in love with the Joker. I kind of decided that she’s codependent on him. Now that I’ve done the research, I realize that that’s more of an addiction than an illness…”
It’s an interesting diagnosis. Harleen Quinzel was an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist with a promising career ahead of her before meeting the would-be love of her life, Mistah J. His influence on her stuck; it transformed her, and the results of that transformation, too must be depicted.
“You see many sides of her,” she continued. “Sometimes she’s really funny. Sometimes she’s really mean. She just enjoys everything she does. Whether she’s doing something good or bad, she’ll have an equal amount of enjoyment out of it. She’s not always the most likable character.”
Likable or not, there’s no question that Harley and Joker make for quite the match. They complete each other. Well, he completes her. Joker himself has noted on various occasions, in various incarnations, that it’s the Bat who completes him. Hopefully their mad love is depicted gloriously when Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5.
Images: Warner Bros.