'Suicide Squad': Jared Leto says he 'reinterpreted' The Joker like actors tackle Hamlet

'It's a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility,' the actor says

Jared Leto has spoken about the "responsibility" he feels playing The Joker, explaining that he has tried to "reinterpret" the role the way classical actors put their own stamp on Hamlet.

In this summer's Suicide Squad movie, the 30 Seconds To Mars frontman and Oscar-winning star of Dallas Buyers Club follows in the footsteps of actors including Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger in portraying the iconic comic book villain.

"The work that's been done on this character by so many people before me has been so impactful, so incredible, so much fun, so profound, so risky, that it's a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility," Leto told Entertainment Weekly.

"You just knew you had to do something different. You had to make it your own. That happens all the time," he continued.

"Whether you're a composer working on a piece of music that was written a century ago, or you're an actor on stage, reinterpreting a play, it's very common these days. Directors take on great works of cinema, actors reinterpret roles, that's been going on for a great deal of time. From Scarface to Hamlet. In some ways it's really interesting to reinterpret, redefine."

In October Leto's Suicide Squad co-star Will Smith revealed that he has never spoken to the 30 Seconds To Mars frontman out of character because he was "all in" as the Joker during filming.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Leto's "all in" approach extended to showering his Suicide Squad castmates with unusual gifts including a dead hog, a live rat and bullets.

Leto himself has previously described portraying The Joker as "like giving birth out of my prickhole". Suicide Squad, which also stars Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman and Cara Delevingne, opens in cinemas on August 5.

Ben Affleck's Batman is also rumoured to be appearing in the film after a figure resembling the caped crusader was spotted on the film's set last May.

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