‘Suicide Squad’: Jared Leto spent time with ‘psychopaths’ as research for Joker role

For Jared Leto, who stars as the Joker in the upcoming movie Suicide Squad, playing this character presented a whole series of challenges. Of course there”s being able to overcome its storied history. But there”s also simply being able to get to the root of what makes the Joker so erratic, volatile and dangerous. To do that, Leto did some research with those who understand these types of people.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Leto explained he met with “people that were experts, doctors, psychiatrists that dealt with psychopaths and people who had committed horrendous crimes…I spent some time with those people themselves, people who have been institutionalized.”

But Leto”s challenge of making the Joker authentic wasn”t the only issue he faced.  He needed to differentiate it from Jack Nicholson”s and Heath Ledger”s interpretation of the comic book criminal.

“There had been such great work that we knew we had to go in a different direction,” Leto said, noting that he had to “build this from the ground up.” He added that for the Joker, “violence is a symphony” and that”s something he really looked to incorporate.

In addition to Leto, Suicide Squad stars Ben Affleck, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis. It”s scheduled for an August 5 release.