Recently deceased pop star David Bowie was an artist. Besides his own success with both music and acting, he also helped to shape Jared Leto's interpretation of the Joker during his portrayal of the villain on the Suicide Squad. Speaking with NME, the Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman revealed his inspiration. Going onto explain that one prominent member of the writing staff had identified the Brit as a figure to emulate when studying the mannerisms of the DC character.
"I spoke to a writer and we discussed David Bowie a bit. Not necessarily the music of David but his class, his elegance, his timelessness," said Leto. "I don't want to say who he was, but he is a famous writer in the world of DC. Bowie was definitely one of the people we spoke about and I think David Bowie is an inspiration in life for almost anything you can do creatively."
Leto Left At Arms Length In Production
In order for Leto to get into the mindset of the maniac, he did have to branch away from Will Smith and the rest of the gang of misfits while fronting most of scenes with the Aussie actress.
"My work was all with Harley Margot, it was contained and separated from the rest of the cast," stated Leto. "There was a different dynamic with the other characters because they're all in the squad and the Joker is kind of on the outside so I was kind of isolated, they really bonded and I was off in the cafeteria looking at all the other kids have a good time."
It turns out that turning to a musician as a source for inspiration is not exactly a new concept.
Heath Ledger Also Looked To The Music Scene For Reference With His Joker
Leto is not the only one to take notes from the rock world to play the Joker. The late Heath Ledger saw eccentric American performer Tom Waits as inspiration when he made the character his own in 2008's The Dark Knight, seeing the Australian win a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Ledger viewed Waits as something of a troubled and misunderstood genius that people gravitated towards. Given recent reviews it does appear the Aussie had a better grasp of the character as critics and fans struggled to comprehend a more image conscious 'punk rock' Joker played by Leto.