Jared Leto is playing The Joker in the new movie, Suicide Squad, but one of the best portrayals of the character was Heath Ledger, in The Dark Knight (2008).
While Jared Leto is not one to shy away from a challenge, in a recent interview with GQ, he recognised the extraordinary performance of Heath Ledger as The Joker.
"Let me say a few things. Number one, Heath Ledger: Not only was he perfect as the Joker—perfect. There’s not a single frame where he’s not great. Not only was he 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."
He went on to say that despite this, he was excited to take on the role.
"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. On the other, this excitement about the opportunity to go and say something else, something new, something different."
When asked if he was worried about the dangers of method acting, particularly in the context of Heath Ledger's death, Jared Leto also said that there was a line that must be drawn.
"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. It starts to just get inside of you, violence and some of those things. But you know, I’ve made some pretty dark films."
Suicide Squad is in cinemas now.