Suicide Squad: Jared Leto Gaining Weight For The Joker?

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser when it comes to Jared Leto’s upcoming performance as The Joker in ‘Suicide Squad,’ as the Oscar-winning actor reveals he’s trying to gain weight as he prepares for the role.

Speaking to Billboard, Leto apologised for eating during his interview, explaining, “I’m trying to gain a lot of weight. It means I have to eat every couple of hours - and I’m terrible at eating a lot.”

Joker fans are sure to find this either an intriguing or somewhat baffling development. Historically, the character tends to be presented in the comics as slender, even wiry - a physical type to which the typically skinny Leto would seem ideal. 

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The character certainly isn’t known for being bulky. Sadly, as Leto does not elaborate on the matter, it’s unclear whether he is aiming to put on fat, or put on muscle - and either one would be something of a departure for The Joker (Jack Nicholson’s comparatively full-bodied take notwithstanding).

Still, it was noted that Leto’s interview meal was a vegan taco, not exactly the fattiest of foods. We might also emphasise that Leto does not state he’s gaining weight specifically for the role, so for all we know it may be simply a personal health matter.

Leto also spoke again of what drew him to follow in the footsteps of Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger as arguably the most iconic villain in DC Comics:
"The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character - that’s what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right? [He’s] this beautiful disaster of a character - what a big challenge."

'Suicide Squad' centres on a group of DC supervillains in captivity who are coerced into serving the US government as part of a top secret program, including Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courteney) and Enchantress (Carla Delevingne). Joel Kinnaman also looks set to join, replacing Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg, and it was recently reported Jay Hernandez may appear (allegedly as El Diablo).

It has been rumoured that Leto’s Joker will be a comparatively minor supporting role in the vein of Hannibal Lecter in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ - though it will surely be the first of several appearances in the role for Leto (it’s almost inconceivable he won’t be at least one of the antagonists in the two upcoming ‘Justice League’ movies.)

Leto won Best Supporting Actor at the 2014 Academy Awards for his turn in ‘The Dallas Buyer’s Club,’ and will make his debut as the Joker when ‘Suicide Squad’ hits screens on 5 August 2016.

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Picture Credit: WENN, DC