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Will Smith: There was no Jared Leto on Suicide Squad set, only The Joker

Despite having worked together for six months on Suicide Squad, Will Smith and Jared Leto haven’t met yet. Deadshot and The Joker, on the other hand, are well acquainted.

Screen Crush reports that Zane Lowe interviewed Smith on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station yesterday and the latter admitted that Leto is such an intense method actor, that he never broke character, not even to exchange pleasantries. Check out the transcript of the actor’s comments below:

Related: See the Suicide Squad crew get tattooed by Will Smith and Margot Robbie

“[Suicide Squad] is insane. I’ve never actually met Jared Leto. We worked together for 6 months and we’ve never exchanged a word outside of ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ We’ve never said ‘Hello’ or ‘Good day.’ I’ve only ever spoken to him with me as Deadshot and him as The Joker. I literally have not met him yet. So, the first time I see him will be ‘Hey, Jared. What’s up?’ Not a single word exchanged off-camera. He was all in on the Joker.”

Smith’s comments echo those of Suicide Squad alum Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), who was quoted as saying  “I haven’t seen him, since we started working, out-of-character, let’s put it that way.” The dead rat he sent to Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and the bullets he sent to Smith seem to suggest that Leto might just be a touch overcommitted.

We reported a few months back that Director David Ayer had hired an on-set therapist for the film and now we wonder if he/she wasn’t brought in just to keep an eye on Leto. Remember, The Joker is a character with a tragic history and there is speculation as to whether Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the character played a role in his death.  Ledger played The Clown Prince of Crime in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and was apparently so consumed with the role that he barely slept and needed heavy doses of prescription meds for the rest that he did get. Former Joker Jack Nicholson also told the press that he warned Ledger that the character was dangerous.

Maybe Leto truly did take himself to a dark, twisted place for the film, but there is always the possibility that this is some sort of marketing ploy and that Suicide Squad is just trying to right its ship and counter the wave of bad press that plagued it at the beginning of this summer. But as its August 5, 2016 theatrical release slowly creeps closer, many fans seem to have traded anxiety for cautious optimism.