5 Minutes with Jared Leto

It was fun, playing those psychological games.
What were your initial thoughts when you were first approached about the project and the role?
You take a deep breath. There is a responsibility, I suppose, that you can feel but it's also incredibly exciting. The work that's been done on this character by so many people before me has been so impactful, so incredible, so much fun, so profound, so risky, that it's a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility. 

Were you a comic book fan growing up? 

When I was a kid, I was given a box of old comics. I dove in and loved the worlds that I found there. 


Why do you think the Joker in particular has become so deeply embedded in our culture?

Joker has been written about in pop culture for 75 years. The actors, the voice actors, the television series, the writers, the artists and the fans.People have taken the Joker and reinvented and redefined. 

Can you talk about finding your way into this character – was it intuitive, did you go back and read Joker comics, or was it shaping a whole new iteration? 
We knew we had to strike new ground. There had been such great work that we knew we had to go in a different direction. So you had a kind of direction from the very beginning – knowing that you can't go that way, so you have to head this way. That was really helpful. But the Joker is fantastic because there are no rules. The Joker operates from instinct. 


Can you talk about who the Joker is in the film?

I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about that so much, but we walked in a completely new direction. 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.


How was the experience of working with [Director] David Ayer for you as an actor? And what qualities do you think he brings to this story? 

David and I had conversations and I think he trusted that I was going to go out and experiment and explore and come back with something for him to continue the collaboration. And it was nice to have that trust from him. He really let me loose and encouraged me. That was a priceless thing when you're working with a director – to have that faith and trust.

Was there a moment during production that was exceptionally fun memorable for you or a favorite scene to play? Or even a scene that was particularly daunting or challenging?

It was really the most fun I have ever had on a film in my life. I had a blast. 

You have such a fascinating career as an award-winning actor, musical artist and now filmmaker as well. Was making this film creatively inspiring for you as an artist? 
I took a pretty deep dive. But this was a unique opportunity and I couldn’t imagine doing it another way. It was fun, playing those psychological games.

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