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Suicide Squad: Jared Leto says his Joker was inspired by David Bowie

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Warner Bros.; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

There’s a bit of the Thin White Duke in the latest screen incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime.

Suicide Squad star Jared Leto revealed in a recent interview with NME that his portrayal of the Joker was partly inspired by glam-rock icon David Bowie, who passed away in January.

In developing his take on the iconic DC Comics villain, Leto said, “We discussed David Bowie a bit — not necessarily the music of David, but his class, his elegance, his timelessness.”

Bowie was of course no stranger to eye-catching outfits or charismatic alter egos (see also: Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane), though it’s worth noting he eschewed supervillainy.

Leto, who moonlights as the frontman of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, added, “I think David Bowie’s probably an inspiration for, like, almost anything you could do creatively.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Leto said he’d love to see his Bowie-inspired Joker get his own standalone movie. “I think that would be great,” he said, “to dive in deeper to the Joker and expand the story and to learn a bit more about this sick and twisted — but lovely — strange man.”

Watch Leto’s NME interview above.