After almost a quarter century of providing the voice for the Joker in animated television series and films, its not a stretch to say that Mark Hamill is the definitive Clown Prince of Crime for plenty of comic book fans. His interpretation of the iconic Batman villain has existed alongside numerous other takes on the multi-faceted madman, including live-action interpretations performed by Heath Ledger and, most recently, Jared Leto.
Leto’s performance in this summer’s “Suicide Squad” brought a whole new manic energy to the overhauled Joker. Unlike previous Jokers, this new version sported numerous tattoos, silver-plated teeth and was outfitted in a new wardrobe that mixed classic tuxedos with edgy leather jackets. In a recent interview with Hamill, a performer that’s been associated with the Joker longer than anyone else, Polygon had to ask him what he thought of 2016’s all-new Joker.
“Everyone brings a different spin to the character and you have to look at each script separately,” said Hamill. “I don’t think there’s a definitive version of the Joker and I don’t think there can be. It’s like Hamlet, really. It’ll be constantly redefined.”
Hamill said he loved Leto’s take on the Joker, and said that he’s yet to see an actor’s take on the villain that made him go, “That was terrible.” He says he looks at the different Jokers for what they are and what they need to be in the moment they were created and performed. That’s why Jack Nicolson’s Joker was so different from Ledger’s and, most recently, Leto’s.
But that doesn’t mean Hamill doesn’t sympathize with the fans that feel let down by the slate of DC movies due to their darker take on the company’s superheroes. While he didn’t offer any specific thoughts on “Man of Steel” or “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” he did understand why fans would be upset if one man was in charge of the vision of an entire cinematic universe. “If you don’t approve of Zack Snyder’s vision then you’re kind of stuck because he’s in the driver’s seat,” said Hamill. He did encourage fans to keep voicing their opinions about the films, though, as that can absolutely lead to change.
Mark Hamill also, of course, is best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” franchise, a role he briefly reprised in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Hamill will return as Skywalker in 2017’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” Meanwhile, he also has a new webseries called “Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest” which is dedicated to his love of collectibles and search for other awesome collections.
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