Jared Leto praises perfect Heath Ledger
Jared Leto believes Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker was one of the most "perfect" performances he'd ever seen.
The 44-year-old actor had "no hesitation" on taking on the iconic role in 'Suicide Squad', even though it meant following on from the late actor, who died from an accidental overdose in 2008 before his turn as the character was seen on screen in 'The Dark Knight'.
Jared said: "I don't remember much hesitation.
"I'm sure that I considered everything when I got the call. But let me say a few things...Not only was [Heath Ledger] perfect in that role, but it's probably one of the best performances, not just of a villain but maybe one of the best performances on film, period. Period.
"That's my opinion. And that was my opinion before I got the call. It was a perfect performance, and those are very rare."
Jared studied videos of extreme violence to prepare for his role in the film, but admitted he eventually had to stop because it was starting to affect his personality.
He told the new issue of GQ Style magazine: "There was a point where I was researching violence and was watching a lot of things that...things that it's arguable if anybody should even see. And I noticed that started to have an impact on me that I didn't like, so I stopped.
"It starts to just get inside of you, violence and some of those things. But you know, I've made some pretty dark films."
While The Joker has been portrayed by a number of actors and in print via DC Comics over the years, Jared insisted that didn't worry him as he felt it gave him greater "freedom" to take the character in a different direction.
He said: "You have 75 years that the Joker has been written about and brought to life by artists.
"But in a way, the fact that it has been interpreted so many times I think gave me a great sense of freedom and permission to walk down a different path. On the one hand, I had an enormous amount of respect for what's been done before, like real admiration and respect for the work that had been done before.
"On the other, this excitement about the opportunity to go and say something else, something new, something different."