The cinematic Joker has only been played by a handful of actors over the years - but each person who played the Clown Prince of Crime seems to have left their own mark. Heath Ledger is remembered for his dark, anarchic take on the Joker, Mark Hamill for his goofy-yet-threatening cartoon incarnation, and so on. But how will Jared Leto - who's set to take on the role in this summer's Suicide Squad - be remembered?
For those who worked with him, probably as a huge asshole. Here's why:
1. He Introduced Himself To the Cast By Sending Them A Bunch of Horrible Gifts
Apparently, Jared Leto was one of the last actors to join the production in Toronto - but he wanted to make his presence known, by sending everyone in the core cast a gift. Naturally, he sent
Margot Robbie (who plays Harley Quinn and sadly has to share a lot of scenes with Leto's Joker) a live rat.
Will Smith (who plays Deadshot and is a legitimate Hollywood superstar who shouldn't have to put up with this bullshit) some actual bullets.
The rest of the cast (and - reminder - this is their first impression of Jared Leto as a co-worker) a dead hog and a video of him (in character as the Joker) saying he was sorry he couldn't be there. Apparently, Leto had "a henchman" walk into a dressing room and (without saying a word) simply dropped the dead hog on a table.
So - a live rat to his closest co-star, a bunch of actual bullets (which, listen, I get is thematically tied to Deadshot, but c'mon) to Will Smith, and a fucking dead hog to everyone else.
And it didn't stop there - throughout the shoot, he would continue to send weird gifts to his co-stars, sending them anal beads, used condoms, and "sticky" issues of Playboy Magazine.
Oscar winners are just allowed to do stuff like this, I guess?
2. He Was Literally In-Character During The Entire Shoot
How insufferable is Jared Leto as a co-worker? Well, after sending everyone weird, stupid gifts, he literally NEVER broke character while filming. This wouldn't be too big of a deal if the character he was playing was a chill dude who was sociable and funny, but he was playing a tatted-up, Jared Leto-style maniac. Said co-star Will Smith (who, again, really shouldn't have to put up with stuff like this):
"I've never actually met Jared Leto. We worked together for 6 months and we've never exchanged a word outside of 'Action!' and 'Cut!' I literally have not met him yet. So, the first time I see him will be 'Hey, Jared. What's up?' He was all in on the Joker."
I'm sure what Leto was going for was "Wow! He's such a SERIOUS actor!" (I mean, this is the guy who gained 67 lbs. for a Lindsay Lohan indie film no one liked), but imagine spending time with someone like that for SIX WHOLE MONTHS. Maybe his performance will make it worth it, but that would be annoying as hell to have your co-worker acting insane all the time when the cameras weren't even rolling.
3. He Tormented His Fellow Actors Because, Again, HE WAS LITERALLY IN-CHARACTER THE ENTIRE SHOOT
Jared Leto has an Oscar, so I guess he was just given carte blanche to behave literally however he wanted during the entire movie? Like, ANY of the the things in this list would lead to a very long talk with HR and a possible lawsuit in any other business in the world, but Leto genuinely thinks he was just being quirky and a good actor and that this was all necessary to his process. But, I dunno, maybe he could have done without harassing the actor playing Joker henchmen Johnny Frost (Jim Parrack) who had to endure some of the more demeaning punishments, primarily in the form of random phone calls at all hours of the day from Leto, demanding he spray paint roses black or fill a backpack with nine inch nails.
All that ON TOP of having to act alongside the dude. Suddenly David Ayer hiring the cast an on-set therapist for the duration of the shoot makes a LOT more sense.