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How The Joker Played With the Mind of His Actors

If you’re a fan of the Batman series, your favorite villain is probably the clown everyone loves to hate and hates that they love him. This sociopath has been portrayed in the Batman movies by many different actors. However, accepting this role has proven very risky because all of the actors who have portrayed him have had consequences and were haunted by him.

 Jack Nicholson

This actor is known for playing relentless serial killers since he previously starred in The Shining – the role of the Joker wasn’t that different. Even though he wasn’t the first person who portrayed him, his version was one of the most memorable ones.

Rarely did anyone dare to play this sick and twisted character as closely and remorselessly as he was envisioned by his creators. There is no record of the role having lasting effects on the actor. However, he was furious when Heath Ledger landed the role in The Dark Knight, and when Ledger died, Nicholson alarmed people by saying that he had warned him, making everyone wonder what exactly he had said to Ledger at the time.

 Mark Hamill

You probably know him better as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars franchise, but his second best-known role is the Joker —actually, the voice of the Joker in the animated series that started in 1993 and lasted for decades. Even though he thought he would never get the part, he did, and the voiceover work had a huge impact on his career.

 Jared Leto

Suicide Squad was one of the most anticipated and popular movies of 2016. Although the Joker didn’t have such a big role in the movie and wasn’t a part of the squad, we still saw him as the love interest of Harley Quinn and the actor went to great lengths to truly capture the character and honor both him and all of the actors who have portrayed the Joker so far.

Leto admitted that the role was very challenging and that he even stayed in character after they had finished scenes with him. His mind was so affected that he even went as far as to send Margot Robbie, who played Harley Quinn, a dead rat, and he sent a dead pig to the rest of the cast. That truly showed how messed up the role left him.

 Cesar Romero

Before the famous Jack Nicholson played the Joker and completely reimagined him, Cesar Romeo was the one who had the honor of playing the role. This late actor portrayed him in the Batman series back in the ’60s and was the first ever live-action Joker. His performance was memorable, and people still remember it, he did, in fact, define the character for decades. However, his portrayal was much different than the sadistic Joker we know today.

He played him quite cartoonish and didn’t even take him seriously. He even refused to shave his mustache for the role, and even with the efforts of the makeup department to cover it up, it was still visible, and it is one of the things for which Romero’s Joker will live in infamy. This role went on to haunt the rest of his career because everyone ended up seeing him as the cartoonish Joker with badly covered facial hair.

 Roger Stoneburner

There’s a chance you’ve never even heard of Stoneburner, and if that’s the case, you really shouldn’t feel bad about it. He played the Joker in Birds of Prey, a television series only a few people watched. But unfortunately, he never received any credit for the role he played, because he only played the Joker physically, while he was voiced by Mark Hamill who in the end got all the credit. It must be awful to have played one of the most famous villains and then never be credited for it.

 Heath Ledger

This role never affected any actor like it did affect Heath Ledger, and we can only hope that it never again will. Some people even blame this role for his untimely death. He prepared for it by reading all of the comic books, studying the works of Francis Bacon and by putting himself through very extreme psychological preparation and chronicled all of it in a special Joker journal he led.

While Ledger worked on this role, he only slept for two hours a night because his mind was always racing, and that lead to an excessive use of sleeping pills, which in the end contributed to his death at the young age of 28.

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