Jared Leto is a dedicated master of his craft. Since the very first image leaked of Leto playing the Joker, fans knew he was going to be great because he took his role seriously. What we didn’t know is that he took it so seriously that he hung out with psychopaths.
That’s right, in order to understand his character more, Leto decided he needed to understand the mind of those who are most like the Joker. To him, that meant psychopaths.
Leto told Extra that the session with those people was completely fascinating to him. He said, “To look into the eyes of people who don’t have a desire or necessity for any common nicety... That was interesting to see. I learned a lot from that. The Joker lives in that space where he has no rules.”
I’m sure there is a spectrum of psychopaths, and not all of them are violent people, but it just seems like a lot to prepare for a movie. But to Leto, it is what had to be done. He knew he had to be able to stand beside the greats who had played the role before him.
He said, “These are really big shoes to fill, obviously the work that has come before, Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero, Heath Ledger, beautiful performances, unforgettable performances, it was very intimidating to think about being passed that baton, and I think out of respect of what was done before, we knew we had to go in a completely different direction.”
That direction is already creating some nomination buzz for the movie and Leto himself for the major shows. With this role as a follow up to his character in Dallas Buyers Club, which he did win an Oscar for, it’s clear that Leto does whatever it takes to make his part in a movie incredible. Even if it literally means hanging out in a room full of psychopaths.