In 2016, David Ayer was commissioned by Warner to direct “Suicide Squad”. The opportunity for Jared Leto to become the new face of the Joker. And if his performance has been strongly criticized, the fact remains that the actor has still prepared for the role in an extraordinary way.
Suicide Squad: critical failure for David Ayer
After the man of steel and Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad is the third film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) to appear on the big screen. The feature film is directed by David Ayer (Fury, The Tax Collector, End of Watch) and brings together a fairly impressive cast including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn Will Smith as Deadshot, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinnaman as Commander Rick Flag or even Jared Leto as an all-new Joker.
Unfortunately, David Ayer encountered many creative differences with Warner regarding his work. Suicide Squad has been overhauled a lot, and in the manner of Justice League, many fans are now clamoring for an Ayer’s cut. Suicide Squad thus had mostly negative reviews despite a more than convincing box office score with 746 million dollars in revenue for a budget of 175 million.
Jared Leto as The Joker
Suicide Squad was also the opportunity to discover a whole new iteration of the Joker. After Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger, it’s Jared Leto’s turn to portray the famous Prince of Crime on the big screen. David Ayer and Jared Leto opt for a more urban Joker and more bling-bling, decked out in tattoos of all kinds and a haircut that would make footballers green. Jared Leto proposed, as usual, an inhabited embodiment of his character, which however did not convince the fans. Currently, Jared Leto is considered the worst joker. However, as usual, the actor went to great lengths to prepare for the role.
Jared Leto totally immersed himself in the role of the Joker, so much so that he had great difficulty leaving the character between takes. Jai Courtney recalls, for example, that:
With his self-imposed transformation, it was a bit difficult for him to stop for a coffee and a normal chat.
Like every actor wishing to step into the shoes of the Joker, Jared Leto prepared a unique laugh. Asked by Squawk Box of CNBCthe actor returned to his preparation:
I worked on laughter walking the streets of New York and Toronto, I walked the streets and saw what laughter made people shiver. You know when you hear someone laughing in a restaurant? It’s not very pleasant. I was testing my laughs. It got to the point where I was laughing and people were turning around and saying, “Who is that sleazy man behind me?”
The story of the dead rat offered to Margot Robbie
But of course, all this was not enough for Jared Leto. The latter is known to regularly exceed the limits. For example, in blade runner 2049he decided to go temporarily blind for the purposes of his role. Thus, his preparation for the role of the Joker sometimes took somewhat disturbing proportions. Quickly, a rumor came out on the net, saying that Jared Leto, too obsessed with the role of the Joker, allegedly sent a dead rat to Margot Robbie. However, Jared Leto strongly denied this latest information at the microphone of QG :
It’s also interesting to see how this whole thing takes on unprecedented proportions. But I never gave Margot Robbie a dead rat, that’s just not true.
However, it is Margot Robbie herself who clarified the truth. According to her, Jared Leto gave her a rat, but this one was alive. It was a huge black rat. Information also confirmed by Viola Davis at British Vogue:
I was shouting, “Don’t open the box!” I was already ready to leave the room when she opened the box. I saw the biggest black rat you could imagine. So… Without any fear, she was ecstatic, full of joy.
A few months ago, Margot Robbie indeed affirmed on the microphone of Jimmy Kimmel the existence of this rat, whom she called Rat Rat. But the Rat Rat story doesn’t end there. Apparently, Margot Robbie couldn’t keep the animal with her while filming Suicide Squad. She would then have given it to a costume designer, who would then have entrusted it to the daughters of Guillermo Del Toro. So, if all goes well, Rat Rat is alive and well and taking it easy with the director of Hellboy. Case closed.