ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

If you're not an avid fan of cosplay you might not immediately recognize the name Anthony Misiano, but if you've spent enough time on the Internet chances are you've run into his face at least once before.

After the costume designer, photographer, and aspiring actor started working on a Halloween costume back in 2011, what might have started as a fun art project in his spare time soon became one of the most famous cosplays in recent years.

Harley's Joker / Facebook
Harley's Joker / Facebook

In his recent interview with the Daily Dot, Misiano explains how he accidentally stumbled into the world of cosplay, and why it's about time he finally takes off the makeup that made him famous and retire from the convention circuit.

It was done in June 2012, and I was living in San Diego, and of course I was going to go to San Diego Comic-Con because that’s just what you do there. And so when July came, I said, hey, you know, I might as well wear this to Comic-Con, maybe they might get a kick out of it.
That was really it. I had never heard of cosplay. I never was interested, and I’m still not interested—it’s not really my thing.
Harley's Joker / Facebook
Harley's Joker / Facebook

Not long after becoming known for his work, he was approached by the team of The Batman Chronicles, who were excited to find that he not only looked the part, but could seriously act.

They’d been working [on] the script for maybe a year and a half on their own before they ever saw me. Then they saw me and looked me up and found out I was an actor and saw some of my acting stuff online and thought, ‘Oh, this guy can actually act, cool!’ So they reached out to me.

Since then, it's hard to think of a list of awesome Joker cosplays without bringing Anthony Misiano's name into the mix.

Although being one of the most famous faces sounds like it would be a dream for any geek, the fame has worn out for Misiano and although he expresses a deep appreciation for his fans, it's simply not all it's cracked up to be.

No. Just an accidental meme.
It’s a flash in the pan. It’s a meme. It’s just that I’ve taken it and beaten it to death, and it’s just gone on far too long.
Harley's Joker / Facebook
Harley's Joker / Facebook

Contrary to what some might believe, being the Internet's most recognizable Joker actually hinders Misiano's burgeoning acting career more than it helps him. When asked about how his Joker costume plays out in auditions and the like, he explained that that's why he's choosing to retire.

That’s why I need to stop now. Because essentially, if I become too recognizable as this thing, it could be very bad for me as an actor... If it gets to a point where I go to a casting director’s office for some audition, and they recognize me and they say that phrase, ‘Oh, hey, you’re that Joker guy,’ instantly I’m no longer a candidate for a role because I’m no longer an actor, I’m no longer this clean slate. I am an established personality.
Harley's Joker / Facebook
Harley's Joker / Facebook

So will he officially retire that Joker-y smile for good? Not really. He might still don the iconic green hair when the right photo project arises, but don't expect to see Misiano on the convention floor anytime soon.

I don’t want to dress up at conventions any more. That’s all it is. I still might do occasional photo projects, because I still like those, and those are the things that people seem to like the most.
I have ideas for a few more photos I want to do when the inspiration is all the way there. But as far as going to conventions and dressing up. New York Comic Con will hopefully be my last one.
Harley's Joker / Facebook
Harley's Joker / Facebook

Although he'll be a tough act for any Joker to follow, it's hard to fault him for wanting to give it up. Cosplay is all about having fun and expressing yourself. And Anthony Misiano has given us years of inspirational material for fans to gawk at. In the end, if he's happy, we're happy!

To see more of Anthony Misiano's work, check out his Facebook page.

(Source: The Daily Dot)


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