We live in a society, and sometimes that means waiting for the things we want because of a pandemic. Other times, it means surprising people with the things they didn’t even know they wanted.
Academy Award winner Jared Leto recently joined Global News to talk about his surprising return as the Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, his physical transformation for the upcoming House of Gucci film and the pandemic-related delay of Morbius, his long-gestating vampire blockbuster from Sony and Marvel.
Leto was not part of the theatrical release of Justice League in 2017, but he signed up to shoot a new epilogue for director Zack Snyder’s four-hour cut that was released on HBO Max last March. The scene unites Ben Affleck’s Batman and Leto’s Joker for the first time, in what Leto says was a fun “evolution” of the character he first played in Suicide Squad.
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) April 25, 2015
Leto spoke to Global News about his Justice League experience ahead of this year’s Audi Innovation Series, a virtual speaker series airing this week on Audi Canada’s social channels.
Global News: You surprised a lot of fans with your return as the Joker. And it wasn’t quite the same Joker we saw in Suicide Squad. What went into reprising this role?
Jared Leto: I think it’s kind of like a wedding when you have to invite that crazy uncle. You’re not sure about it but you do, and of course, he’s just out of his mind.
I was happy to be involved in Zack’s journey and it was a lot of fun. It was an evolution of the character. I think that was probably good because a lot of time has passed, but yeah, it was a blast.
Zack, you’re a warrior and a madman. You know this world like nobody else and it was incredible to be a part of retelling this story in the way that you always dreamed of. pic.twitter.com/vTyGeBwMXY
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) March 18, 2021
And then I went from that into this House of Gucci movie that I just finished in Rome, which was just an incredible experience – one I’ll never forget.
You often throw yourself into your roles, and it looks like you really transformed yourself to play Paolo Gucci in this film.
It was unforgettable and transformative. It was about five hours of prosthetics every morning.
I’ve worked with Gucci the brand for a long time, and the movie is a completely different project, actually separate. But I didn’t know the Gucci history, and it’s quite incredible. This story is fascinating, so I learned a lot about that.
I played Paulo Gucci and I fell in love with the character. And I got to work with Al Pacino, he played my dad, and Ridley Scott, who was one of my favourite directors ever, and I learned so much. I was so excited just to be on that set and of course, working with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver was a dream.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic and I’m sure it’s affected your work in many ways. But you were supposed to be in this big 2020 Marvel/Sony movie, Morbius, and that’s been sitting on the shelf. It probably won’t come out until next year. What’s it like to be sitting on your hands while you’ve got such a big project that’s just waiting to hit?
It’s like a fine wine or a really stinky cheese. It’s one or the other, maybe a little of both, but I think it’s good in a way. It gives everybody a little bit more time to work on the film, to polish things up. I’m happy that it didn’t come out at the wrong time, and I certainly would never want to encourage people to run to the theatres before they should. It’s Jan. 22 now, which isn’t that far away. And when you’re 90 like me, that’s like tomorrow.
We’re chatting ahead of this year’s Audi innovation series event. You’re going to be a speaker. What lessons do you plan to share from your own career?
When you’ve failed as much as I have, you have to learn something. So I’m just going to share my history of failures, maybe a few little successes. I’m a creative person and I’ve been on this journey for a long time, and innovation is something I’ve been fascinated by. It’s about breaking things and fixing them and sharing things with the world in a way that is a little different. I’m excited about it.
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]
The Audi Innovation Series airs this week on Audi Canada’s social media channels. Jared Leto will appear as the featured speaker at noon EST on Tuesday, May 11.
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