'Suicide Squad' director on Jared Leto's Joker: 'When he steps on set the world stops'

By Marilyn Malara  |  March 25, 2016 at 7:03 AM
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LOS ANGELES, March 25 (UPI) -- Jared Leto's Joker character in Suicide Squad had a chilling effect not only on the cast but the behind-the-scenes crew as well.

Director David Ayers divulged details about the rarity that is phasing camera operators and set technicians, telling the DC Vertigo Daily blog when Leto's character walked on set, everyone stopped and stared.

"What Jared has done is absolutely incredible. When he steps onto the set the world stops," he said. "Everything stops. What he's done is so powerful, so menacing, and so palpable, you can feel him. The crew stops working and just watches him. I have to get everybody going again because he's so fascinating."

Stories told about Leto by co-stars like Deadshot actor Will Smith, Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie and actress Viola Davis say the actor and musician put his all into the role, rarely breaking character during filming.

"I've never actually met Jared Leto," Smith said during an interview in October. "Worked together for six months and we've never exchanged a word outside of 'Action!' and 'Cut!' I literally have not met him yet. So, the first time I see him will be, 'Hey, Jared. What's up?' He was all in on the Joker."

Leto also sent creepy gifts to his co-stars in the name of Suicide Squad, including a dead hog and live rat. Actress Robbie received the rodent and cherished it, as her character Quinn would do.

Viola Davis outlined witnessing Leto's "henchman" deliver a dead hog to the film set and throw it on a table, saying although she was initially disgusted, it helped her dedicate more to her character.

"Now I'm terrified as a person thinking 'Is he crazy?' but the second part was 'Oh [expletive]! I got to have my stuff together.' You talk about commitment and then he sends Margot Robbie a black rat. It was still alive in a box. She screamed, and then she kept it," she said.

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