Jared Leto Once Revealed the Dark Truth Behind His Joker: ‘It’s All a Big Game’

Jared Leto movies run the gamut from blockbuster franchise hits to little-seen releases no one but his most ardent fans has probably seen. But one role that everyone associates with Leto is the Joker in Suicide Squad. Although the character design and Leto’s performance divided fans, it’s easy to see the actor committed full force to playing the DC Comics super-villain. In fact, Leto has a clear mindset about why the Joker performed such heinous acts.

‘Suicide Squad’ star Jared Leto poses in front of the movie's poster
Jared Leto | Noam Galai

Jared Leto has become a controversial figure since winning his Oscar

Since winning his Academy Award for playing a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club in 2014, Leto has developed a bit of a controversial reputation. Looking back, many believe that role would have been the perfect opportunity for some LGBTQ representation. Instead, Leto put his own spin on it and won an Oscar for his trouble.

Furthermore, his reported behavior on the set of Suicide Squad — which marked Leto’s Joker debut — complicated matters. But the actor continues to flourish in Hollywood. He reprised his DC Extended Universe (DCEU) role as Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2021, though it’s unclear if he’s due for another appearance.

RELATED: Jared Leto Explains Why He Has To Take Hiatuses Between Films — ‘They Take a Lot Out of Me’

The ‘Suicide Squad’ actor offered an intriguing take on his version of Joker

Regardless of whether Leto’s Joker reappears in the DCEU, he seems to have given his portrayal of the character a great deal of thought. Case in point, Leto once reportedly spoke to why Joker acts the wild way that he does.

“I think that the Joker is inflicting upon the world the pain that has been inflicted upon him. So in a sense, there’s some sort of revenge there. But I think it’s all a big game. I think that if there’s an opportunity to manipulate or intimidate, he finds that really exciting.”

In keeping with that sentiment, Leto also claims to know how the Joker feels about Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The two lovers routinely go on crime sprees in Gotham in just about every iteration of the mythos since the 1990s animated series. And she is really more a “trophy for the Joker,” “something he can possess.”

Will 2022’s ‘Morbius’ give Jared Leto his own series of Marvel movies?

With Morbius, Leto crosses over from the DC Comics world into the Marvel universe. As the titular “living vampire,” Leto is positioned more as an anti-hero. So if the 2022 film — which faced several delays — is a breakout hit, Leto could be the star of his own film franchise. Similarly, Tom Hardy’s 2018 film Venom inspired a 2021 sequel.

Some fans are skeptical about Leto’s casting here. But perhaps Leto’s distinctive energy and rock-star lifestyle — he’s the lead vocalist of Thirty Seconds to Mars — will translate into Morbius more directly. Fans will find out soon enough, as Morbius is set for a theatrical release on April 1, 2022.

RELATED: Jared Leto Once Revealed He Found Playing The Joker ‘Painful’ in ‘Suicide Squad’