Jared Leto, quite famously, went full-on method during the filming of Suicide Squad, refusing to break character as the Joker for months on end. His diary was his only mental refuge, and thanks to some well-connected sources, we got an exclusive look at that incredible document. And so, without further ado, here is Leto’s method journal from earlier this year, published for the first time on Inverse.
March 4, 2015
Okay, so I’ve watched The Dark Knight 1500 times and bought a lock of Heath Ledger’s hair from eBay, so I think I’m ready to go. First day of pre-production was a little uncomfortable at times — Margot Robbie asked if I wanted anything from Panera and I had no choice but to threaten to cut her face off — but she was cool about it. Have a meeting with wardrobe tomorrow… think I’ll bring in a bunch of old 2003 Thirty Seconds to Mars tour shirts for reference and hiss at the makeup lady until she cries. I love my art!!!
Jared (no, sorry, Joker, no, rats, I’ll do better tomorrow!)
Great news, my costume will be 70 percent tattoos! We’re not sure what they’ll say yet, but here are some ideas I’ve come up with in my brain, which is smart:
I am the Joker!
“Why so serious!” - The Joker
Other actors have played the Joker, but now I am the Joker! Me, Jared Leto, the Joker!
I am a steampunk version of the last Joker and if I don’t get an Oscar nomination I’ll throw a tantrum!
Do you like this?
I really hope you like this! I need this!!!
Of course, these are just a few ideas. There’s much more surface area on my Joker body, so I’ll have to think of some dirty limericks, too. Art is very cool, I think!
Jared the Joker :-)
Had a great conversation with the poster of Daniel Day Lewis I keep taped to my bedroom ceiling this morning. He is a smart guy, and laminated, too!
“What do I do?” I asked him silently as Jared.
“I am the Joker,” I said to him aloud as the Joker, who I am.
“You must suffer for your extremely cool art, Jared,” the slightly pixelated Daniel Day Lewis communicated to me silently.
“I am Abraham Lincoln,” he responded to me aloud, as the Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln poster that he is.
“How?” I asked as the Joker, giggling until my gums started bleeding afterward so it was very Joker-like and cool.
“I find it useful to weep to any of Philip Seymour Hoffmans performances late in his career,” the poster of Daniel Day Lewis silently communicated, a twinkle in his eyes.
“George Washington was a hack loser and I could kill him with my legs if I wanted,” spoke the Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln poster, revealing a very dark and gritty side to our sixteenth president that I, the Joker, did not know existed!
“Art is very cool,” we agreed silently as Daniel and Jared.
“I am neither Jared Leto nor a poster of Daniel Day Lewis, but rather the Joker and a poster of Abraham Lincoln, respectively,” the Joker and the poster of Abraham Lincoln said in unison.
Anyways, just snagged a copy of The Master of Disguise from Redbox, then realized the movie I was actually looking for was The Master, but I think I’ll just cry to both. I am the Joker! I do not play by the rules! Can’t wait for work tomorrow!!!
The director David (I like to call him “Dave”) had a talk with me (he likes to call me “Cut it out”) this morning after I peed on the craft services table and shouted, “This delicious food is a representation of Batman, who I do not like!” at the top of my lungs.
“Listen, Jared, we all liked Heath Ledger’s performance,” Dave said.
“Hee hee!” I answered as the Joker, who I am, not Jared, who I am not.
“It was masterful. The way he embodied the character was career-defining, and ultimately tragic. It’s a master class in method acting, really.
“I cried to The Master!” I, the Joker, said with glee, getting a nostalgia boner just thinking about it.
“But the cast is getting frustrated,” he said. “Will Smith said his children are sensing negative vibes for you all the way from their tour in Calcutta. Viola Davis says you keep keying her car and saying that How to Get Away With Murder is ‘just Damages without the swearing,’ which is really mean if a little true. Margot says you keep saying you hope she gets a really unfair, creepy write-up in Vanity Fair next summer. It’s gotta stop, Jared.”
I, the Joker ruminated on this for a moment. “I don’t know who Jared is, but he sounds like a legendary musician and actor who history will always remember! Hee hee!
Dave sighed the defeated exhale of a man who would one day release a painfully lukewarm franchise film. “So what am I supposed to do here, Jared?”
“I want a face tattoo that says ‘Damaged!’” I shouted. Viola Davis sighed audibly from the room over and muttered that Glenn Close could suck it.
All this is to say, looks like Daddy’s gettin’ a face tattoo! Suck it, Banksy, this is real Rebel Art!!!
Joker (Not Jared!!) (hee hee!!!)
I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician. I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician.
I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician,
I am the Joker, not Jared Leto the legendary actor and musician.
April 20 (later)
Tried to show Margot that last entry to totally freak her out, but she totally rolled her eyes instead! Why is she being so serious, I wonder?? (This is my take on the famous Joker catchphrase, ‘Why are you being so serious, I’d like to know, Batman, or should I say BRUCE?’)
She doesn’t get cool art.
Jack Nicholson called me to say Heath Ledger just called from heaven to say I suck!! Man, celebrities - they are so random.
Last day of filming! For me, the Joker anyways - everyone else has two more weeks, but Dave said I need more time to become more evil and committed to my cool art far away from the set of Suicide Squad.
“This is too corporate for you, Joker,” Dave said as Will and Viola giggled in the background for some reason. Giggling is my thing! That is why I have those very permanent tattoos that say “Haha” covering half my body! (Very artistic of me.)
“I hate corporations! Except for whoever is in charge of making me into a lunchbox! Hee hee!” Even though I am the Joker and an evil villain hee hee, I must also consider business.
“You’ll be fine, Jared,” Dave assured me as I stroked my cool and artistic teeth fillings. Villains are not too good for dentistry!! “After this, you can get a leading role on network TV as a district attorney with a drinking problem and/or limp. Or star in a string of indie sleeper hits about white middle-aged men, but the catch is that they are sad. Soon you’ll forget about this whole fiasco, promise.”
I, the Joker, began to feel as sad as the middle-aged white men I will someday play in indie sleeper hits. According to the DC handbook, this is why I, the Joker, do bad things!
I am going to burn down a hospital!
The Joker, but now with a million dollars and an axe to grind with The Man (and Batman, of course!!!)
June 10 (later)
Dang! Was about to burn down the hospital but then just ended up signing autographs for some frothy teenage girls instead. I love my fans!!!
Art is cool,
Joker “Hee Hee” “Why are you being so not goofy” Leto
Further entries from Leto’s journal will be released this in the special features section of the Suicide Squad Blu-Ray.