Raise your hands if you’ve watched the Suicide Squad. Now, keep your hands up if Jared Leto as the Joker made you uncomfortable in a way that you never want to experience again.
The Hollywood Reporter said Jared Leto has been feeling alienated and upset about the fact his Joker has been left in the dust as Warner Bros works with Joquin Phoenix. The thing is, much like with his Joker potrayal, I just can’t find it in me to be sympathetic.
Jared Leto’s Joker Was The Wrong Kind Of Creepy
The truth is, Jared Leto’s Joker was fucking awful. This guy reportedly sent dead animals and used condoms to co-stars in order to get into character, and the creepy method-acting didn’t even help.
His Joker was cringey and gross to watch on screen, and no one understands why he had to look so much like a demonic lizard. Esquire says it best in their article ranking him the worst Joker. They call his performance “bizarre” and like a mash up of “The Dark Knight and a disgruntled Hot Topic employee.”
Look, I’m no DC expert. I’m definitely more of a Marvel gal myself. But tell me why even I, the uncultured Marvel-loving basic bitch that I am, could watch Suicide Squad and immediately understand that this Joker was trash. I am by no means a film connoisseur and can generally enjoy anything, but his Joker was just ridiculous. He’s not even wearing clown make up! He just looks like he’s had a particularly wild night out with the girls.
Imagine getting rid of this iconic look?!
Jared Leto’s Joker got bad reviews from pretty much everyone, and now he’s been dropped from the franchise. He’s not in the Birds of Prey movie, or in the Suicide Squad sequel either. Add on the fact that there’s a new Joker in town who’s been received with way more praise, and I can see why Jared Leto is feeling upset. Here’s the thing though: I don’t care.
The truth is, Jared Leto’s Joker lacked depth and good characterisation. The scripting was bad too which made it worse, and we were left with a Joker that was nightmarish for all the wrong reasons.
Joquin Phoenix’s Joker Was Confronting In The Best Way
In stark contrast, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker was on another level. His performance was absolutely incredible, believable, and most importantly: it actually told me a fucking story. I care about this narrative, I’m intrigued by this character, and I totally get why he is the way he is.
His mental illness is acknowledged and explained without shying away from the uncomfortable and confronting elements. Pair that with societal rejection and you get a portrayal of the Joker that is meaningful and part of a bigger narrative. The confronting transformation of this character was integral to our connection to it. He played an uncomfortable character without making us cringe with second-hand embarrassment.
I understand that Jared Leto’s Joker wasn’t a character study. He wasn’t here to show us that transformation. He was playing an entirely different character – but it was still shit.
Jared Leto feeling upset and alienated by Warner Bros pursuing a new Joker movie makes sense, but that doesn’t mean it actually matters. This new Joker is more liked for a reason. It’s actually good, for starters.
Image Sources: Warner Bros