Jared Leto Talks Heath Ledger’s ‘Perfect’ Joker Performance

Jared Leto has heaped praise on Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’, a role that he will try to emulate with his portrayal of the super-villain in ‘Suicide Squad’.

Ledger tragically passed at the age of just 28 before his stupendous work as the villain in ‘The Dark Knight’ was even released. It was deemed so stellar that Ledger posthumously was awarded the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his efforts. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Leto waxed lyrical about Ledger’s efforts in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 comic-book adaptation, insisting, “Heath did an impeccable, perfect performance as the Joker. It’s one of the best performances ever in cinema.”

Leto, who admitted that while he did meet Heath Ledger they weren’t close, noted that despite the Australian’s lauded performance he never had any second thoughts about taking on the part, due to the character’s long and illustrious history in both comics and cinema.

“I think had it only been portrayed by Heath and it was never a comic book, maybe I would have felt that would be inappropriate,” Leto explained. “But I thought that given the history, it was OK. The good thing about other people having done this is that you know what direction not to head in.”

Before Heath Ledger’s titanic performance as the Joker, Cesar Romero had portrayed him in the 1960s ‘Batman’ television series, as well as Jack Nicholson in 1989’s ‘Batman’. Meanwhile, he’s been causing mischief primarily opposite Gotham’s famed crusader, since his debut in the very first issue of the Batman comics all the way back in 1940.

That’s a lot of history to live up to. But the first trailers and clips for ‘Suicide Squad’ suggest that while Leto has been true to the core characteristics of the villain, at the same time he has provided his own twist on him, too.

We’ll find out if that’s the case for ourselves when ‘Suicide Squad’ is finally released on August 5th.

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[Images via Warner Bros.]