Jared Leto Shares His Thoughts on God, Reveals How He Stopped Himself From Falling Too Far Into the ''Violent'' Role of the Joker

Actor covers the second issue of GQ Style

By Kendall Fisher Aug 03, 2016 2:13 PMTags
E! Placeholder Image

Many people worried about Jared Leto taking on the role of the Joker in Suicide Squad following Heath Ledger—not only due to comparisons, but also because the impact the violent role could have had on the actor's death.

Leto, however, was not one of those concerned people.

The 44-year-old actor covers the second issue of GQ Style and opens up about taking on the controversial character following Ledger, praising the late actor for his work.

"I don't remember much hesitation," he told the publication about his decision to play the Joker. "I'm sure that I considered everything when I got the call. But let me say a few things...Not only was [Heath Ledger] perfect in that role, but it's probably one of the best performances, not just of a villain but maybe one of the best performances on film, period. Period. That's my opinion. And that was my opinion before I got the call. It was a perfect performance, and those are very rare."

Drugs, Nudity and Used Condoms: Here's All the Wild Ways the Suicide Squad Cast Got Into Character

He continued discussing the long-running legacy of the Joker and the actors who have played him before. 

"You have 75 years that the Joker has been written about and brought to life by artists," he said. "But in a way, the fact that it has been interpreted so many times I think gave me a great sense of freedom and permission to walk down a different path. On the one hand, I had an enormous amount of respect for what's been done before, like real admiration and respect for the work that had been done before," he said. "On the other, this excitement about the opportunity to go and say something else, something new, something different."

A part of that was diving head-first into character, which as we've learned in the past, includes a lot of dark violence.

"There was a point where I was researching violence and was watching a lot of things that…things that it's arguable if anybody should even see. And I noticed that started to have an impact on me that I didn't like, so I stopped," he revealed. "It starts to just get inside of you, violence and some of those things. But you know, I've made some pretty dark films."

Many people may question whether Leto sought a "greater figure" to remain sane while playing such a dark villain. Although he does have his own beliefs, he doesn't necessarily believe in God.

"I don't believe in a God who sits in conscious judgment of the actions of humanity," he told the publication. "I don't want to be dismissive because my real belief is that if that's what you believe and where you find comfort, then that's great, That's actually my belief: People should believe whatever they want to believe. But for me, you know, I don't think there's a bearded dude up there that's like, Oh, you did this and this."

Thus, in order to stay grounded while in character, he focused on humor and the laughable parts of the character.

"It's a challenging piece of work. But we had a lot of fun with it, too," he told GQ. "I mean, the Joker is not that bad a guy...He's always making himself laugh."

He added, "One of the things I really loved about the Joker is that he's an entertainer. He loves to push buttons. He loves to create energy."

Read Leto's full interview in GQ Style.

Watch: Jared Leto Remembers Heath Ledger as The Joker
Jared Leto Hugging Things

Latest News