New Suicide Squad Blu-Ray Clips Reveal More of Jared Leto's Method Acting

Friday, 11 November 2016 - 3:34PM
DC Comics
Suicide Squad
Friday, 11 November 2016 - 3:34PM
New Suicide Squad Blu-Ray Clips Reveal More of Jared Leto's Method Acting
Let's just say it out loud: Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight was a pop culture icon, and Jared Leto's Joker didn't capture the same magic for Suicide Squad. It wasn't for lack of trying, God knows—besides sending horrifying gifts to each cast member as part of his method acting (which caused Viola Davis to express her desire to pepper-spray him), Leto met up with actual psychopaths and murderers to get into character. The transformation was so complete that Will Smith says he essentially 'never met Jared Leto'—a sentiment that other cast members (and David Ayers himself) echo in the new featurettes. Here's the first one, courtesy of Collider, talking about the whole transformation Leto underwent:



Nevertheless, many of Jared Leto's scenes were cut from the movie and Suicide Squad itself was panned by fans and critics alike. The announced release of the new Blu-Ray Extended Cut has stirred up hopes that the non-theatrical cut will be more coherent and watchable, and today IGN released a new featurette from the special features that shows more of what it was like to be behind the scenes with Joker and Harley:



Watching this featurette and hearing from the cast members, we've got a new respect for just how unpredictable, crazy, and disturbing Jared Leto was on set. It's genuinely uncomfortable to watch Leto making out with Margot Robbie, and to hear Robbie herself say that she had no idea what was going to happen on set. The relationship between Harley and Joker is, by its very nature, extremely messed up: the Joker is a manipulative, abusive partner and Harley has a twisted, self-destructive dependency on him. To ask Jared Leto (who is doing his best to be the Joker) to bring that messed-up relationship to life—including strapping Robbie to a table, kissing her, and pretending to hurt her—must have been pretty frightening for everyone involved.

Compare that to Heath Ledger, who was apparently able to draw a border between his Joker persona and his normal personality while on set:

Opening quote
When production began, Ledger would be on set every day in full costume and makeup - but he'd only be in character when filming. Make-up artist John Caglione told Movie Geeks United in 2012 that Ledger would skateboard around, goof off, smoke cigarettes, and give out bear hugs at the beginning and the end of every workday. When it was time for him to work, however, he had his Joker diary close by to bring the character out at will.
Closing quote


Method acting is a tricky thing, and if Suicide Squad had done well in theaters, maybe people would argue that art can excuse being a little eccentric. But as it stands...maybe not.

Suicide Squad: Extended Cut will be available digitally on November 15th and on Blu-ray December 13th.
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