"If I do something risky and you don't like it, basically, you can kiss my ass," the Oscar-winning actor tells EW.
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It turns out that Jared Leto wasn't so serious when he initially said he sent his Suicide Squad costars questionable gifts while preparing to play the Joker in director David Ayer's blockbuster.

In a recent interview for his new role opposite Lady Gaga in Ridley Scott's House of Gucci, the Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club actor tells EW that his prior, headline-making comments were said "in jest" at the DC film's red carpet premiere in 2016: "99.9 percent of what people read is bulls---," he says, adding that "there were no used condoms" or other salacious presents given to cast members like Margot Robbie and Will Smith, though Leto himself previously told a reporter (see video below) that he presented "anal beads" and "used condoms" to "everybody" on the set of the film to "create a dynamic" and "an element of surprise" that would break down walls between new colleagues.

"Any of the very few gifts that were ever given were given with a spirit of fun and adventure and received with laughter, fun, and adventure," Leto now explains to EW. "It's all filmed! They filmed it all! People were dying. We were just having a goof." (Suicide Squad distributor Warner Bros. did not respond to request for comment on Leto's remarks.)

SUICIDE SQUAD
Jared Leto as the Joker in 'Suicide Squad.'
| Credit: Clay Enos/Warner Bros.

Leto also stresses that he was "the good boy" on the set of the film. "The only gifts I ever gave Margot were cupcakes. I think I gave her a mouse, and some of the other guys got gifts that you'd get as a joke at a party," he continued, explaining that he had a "small role" in the project, and often felt like a "quiet nerd in the corner" while "separate from everyone" else in the cast.

"I'm playing a guy called the Joker, it's okay to play some jokes. Nothing ever crossed any lines, and it's not up to other people on the internet to create those lines," he says, later adding: "I'm an artist at the end of the day. If I do something risky and you don't like it, basically, you can kiss my ass."

Representatives for Robbie did not provide EW with comment on Leto's statements, but the actress — who played Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, its 2020 spin-off Birds of Prey, and James Gunn's 2021 reboot The Suicide Squad — said in a July 2015 Elle interview that she kept a rodent that Leto gave her: "If Harley got something from Joker, she'd probably cherish it," she told the publication, adding that the critter dines on a regular diet of organic berries.

When asked about Leto's gifts at the same red carpet event where the actor first claimed to have sent them, his costars seemed to confirm and add on. "He went full Joker. And the rule, generally, is to never go full Joker. But, he went all in. He really set the tone. He wasn't playing with it," Smith told reporter Marc Malkin, while supporting actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje revealed that he got "a number of gifts from Jared," including "sticky Playboy magazines," though he ultimately laughed it off and joked that Leto should've invited his character, Killer Croc, "to that kind of party."

Jared Leto stars as Paolo Gucci in Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI
Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci in 'House of Gucci'
| Credit: Fabio Lovino/MGM Studios

While filming Gucci as the purple suit-wearing dandy Paolo Gucci, Leto had a much different connection to the material, recalling that he had to fight back tears the moment he wrapped his final day of shooting.

"I was successful in holding them back," he says. "I didn't want to embarrass the entire set, but it was a really warm and wonderful experience — collaborative, creative, full of risk and reward, just incredibly special."

House of Gucci is in theaters on Nov. 24. Read EW's full interview with Leto.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Oscars analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's movies and performances.

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Suicide Squad
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