Method acting is a technique employed by actors to better get into the mindset of the character they're playing. Actors have been known to do this in a variety of ways, from losing extreme amounts of weight, holding on to characters' accents , even insisting on doing their own stunts at the risk of personal injury. But when you're cast as the Joker in the Batman universe, you take the method acting to some new and interesting extremes.
You may have heard about the lengths Heath Ledger went to for his stint as the psychopathic villain. There are reports of Ledger locking himself up in his apartment and or hotel room for long periods to perfect his characterization of the Joker. He also kept a "Joker Diary" that compiled various horrific images and news stories that kept the actor in the mindset of the Joker.
It's About Sending A Message
For the upcoming DC comic film Suicide Squad, Jared Leto is taking method acting to a whole new level, not only for him but for his fellow castmates. Multiple castmates have reported receiving disturbing gifts from Leto.
Margot Robbie, who plays Harley Quinn, The Joker's on and off lover and accomplice, received a love letter and a box with a live rat inside.
Jay Hernandez, who plays the pyrokinetic character El Diablo, also received a letter, a deck of cards, and a mystery gift wrapped in newspaper.
The Great Motivator
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Viola Davis became the most recent castmate to confirm the rumors of the very interesting gifts he's been sending to the cast and crew of the film. In the interview, Davis recalls her introduction to Leto's take on the nefarious villain. While disturbing, the actress describes the experience as a 'wake-up call:
“He did some bad things, Jared Leto did. He gave some really horrific gifts. He had a henchman, who would come into the rehearsal room, and the henchman – he came into the room with a dead pig and plopped it on the table, and then he walked out. That was our introduction to Jared Leto. And I’m terrified, just as a person, thinking ‘is he crazy?’ But the second part was, ‘oh shit, I’ve got to have my stuff together.'” (Source - Screenrant)
Davis will be playing ruthless high-ranking government official Amanda Waller in the film. In another interview with Empire, Davis describes just how ruthless her character will be:
"She’s relentless in her villainy .When you look at her, there’s nothing that seems dangerous. Her only power is her intelligence and her complete lack of guilt.”
Not to be outdone by Leto, Davis also mentioned that she read a book titled Confessions of a Sociopath to prep for the role.
Davis is currently crushing her Emmy award-winning role of Prof. Annalise Keating on the hit ABC television show How To Get Away With Murder. The character of Annalise shares some similar character qualities of Amanda Waller, so it'll be quite interesting to see if and how Davis takes the character to another level.