When audiences got to see Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in Suicide Squad, they were less than enthused. Leto had reportedly gone “method” for the role, pulling gross pranks on his co-stars like sending everyone “dirty condoms and anal beads” and avoided speaking to anyone out of character. This resulted in a boring performance that was in no way terrifying or memorable, but certainly made life harder for everyone involved in making the movie.
So it shouldn’t have come to a surprise to Leto when Warner Bros. decided to make a Joker spinoff movie that featured another actor. THR reports that Leto was “alienated and upset by the move,” to which I can only respond, “Boo hoo.” If Jared Leto had given a good performance as Joker, people would want to see more of him as Joker. And while you can blame the editing on Suicide Squad and claim that there’s a more interesting performance of that character on the cutting room floor, the fact remains that everything about his turn as the Batman villain reeked of someone trying too hard and missing the mark.
And it’s not like Joaquin Phoenix is the easiest person in the world to work with, but Leto tormented his co-stars for the benefit of his own performance. He didn’t really care if it affected their work; it was a selfish move where, even if you buy method acting as a thing (personally I think it’s just kind of obnoxious), Leto’s actions show someone who put his own performance ahead of what would help his fellow actors. Granted, perhaps it was just the setting and the tone of Todd Phillips’ take that ruled out Leto rather than the actor’s performance or behavior, but I imagine neither helped his cause.
While Leto may feel “alienated and upset” at being replaced for Joker for a one-off movie (and he’s also nowhere to be seen in Birds of Prey), maybe he should take a look at his own actions.