Prior to the release of last year’s Suicide Squad, there were all sorts of rumors surrounding Jared Leto. His take on the Joker was a particularly eccentric one, and in reports got out of Leto staying in character throughout the entire shoot. But it wasn’t just an attitude thing. He reportedly went so far as to give his cast members creepy gifts such as anal beads, live rats, dead pigs, and used condoms to the rest of the cast.
Back when it was first reported, the actual context of these gifts wasn’t really mentioned, and based on the fact that Leto felt the Joker had no respect for personal space or boundaries, it sounded as though these gifts could have easily been perceived as tasteless or even offensive by their recipients. In the past, Leto already stated these rumors were false, but never really delved into why.
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Speaking with EW, Leto finally discussed the truth behind it all.
‘There were some things that were mentioned about gifts and the fact that I was giving used condoms to people, which was not true. It was not true.
Some of the stuff that you do can go viral or get written about. Especially with the Joker, some of that stuff just took on a life of its own. And most of it was total bulls**t … What are you going to do at that moment? It doesn’t matter how loudly you shout or hold up a sign with your pants off in Times Square, people are going to go with the story that they want to run. And it just wasn’t true.”
Okay, then. So what aspect of the story, if any, were true? From the sound of it, yes, he likely did give prank gifts to his co-stars, but it was never in a practical joke sort of way. Instead, it was a communal experience.
“I gave wrapped gifts to everyone, and on set, we were all laughing, and people were thrilled to get them. They were laughing. We were giving whatever The Joker would give was the idea, and I didn’t even really put them together, basically. It was my team and my assistant, and we were all having fun with it. It was really touching at the end to go and give the gifts. We’d be filming and people would be laughing, and they’d go and open up and there’d be a porno magazine or something, you know, like ‘plus 60’ … ‘It would be whatever would be funny. You know, whatever would be absurd or outrageous. For us it was almost like an art project.”
That certainly sounds a lot different from how it was being reported by E! News back in April of 2016. As a result of these reports, as well as supposed reports of him pushing back against Warner Bros. from them cutting scenes of the Joker out of the film, Leto kind of came across as a bit of an eccentric type who was difficult to work with. Based on his statements to EW, it all sounds like he’s a lot more grounded than it seemed.
Jared Leto is set to return as the Clown Prince of Crime in the upcoming Joker and Harley Quinn spinoff film.
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