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SYFY WIRE Batwoman

'Batwoman' star on how his Joker remixes 'bits and pieces' from Leto, Phoenix and Ledger versions

Marquis Jet is shaking things up in Gotham City.

By Josh Weiss
Batwoman Marquis Jet PRESS

There's a new Clown Prince of Crime in Gotham City, and what's more: he just became the new CEO of Wayne Enterprises. In the seventh episode of Batwoman's third season on The CW, Marquis Jet (played by Nick Creegan) — who had a traumatic run-in with the original and now-deceased Joker as a child — assumes control of Bruce Wayne's multi-billion dollar company. During a press conference, he assures the public that his goal isn't just to expand profits, but to also "put a smile on everyone's face."

Hmmm... Now where have we heard that one before?

Creegan is the first person of color to play the Joker, a history-making development that the actor continues to process. "It’s crazy. It’s wild, actually," he said during an interview with TheWrap. "I’ve done a lot of processing the past few weeks, months, you know? It’s still surreal to me. It’s been a wild ride for me. You know, the reception of the new Joker, being the first person of color to play this role — the messages and the love I’ve been getting has just been overwhelming. It’s been a fun ride."

The actor admitted that his take on the classic baddie was partially inspired by Jared Leto's completely unexpected take on the character in the first Suicide Squad movie. "He was just like this new, edgy, different version of the Joker," Creegan explained. As such, he wanted to find his own niche and channel a Joker performance that fans haven't necessarily seen before — all while harkening back to the memorable contributions made by Leto, Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), and Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight).

Jared Leto as Joker in Suicide Squad

"For Marquis, being that he’s so new and he’s very much into fashion, he’s very much into being himself," Creegan continued. "Like, there’s a lot of vibes that come through that people probably relate to, especially being from New York and, you know, a little street, a little edgy, funny. So … I tried to take little elements of Jared Leto’s Joker, but also making sure that I weave in the maniacal laughter and just craze in the eyes that I saw in Heath Ledger or Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. So there’s bits and pieces that I’ve taken from a lot of them, but [I’m] still making it very much [as] original as possible."

A good example of how he made the role his own can be heard in the laugh, which, as it turns out, doesn't require much acting: 

"The laugh, for instance, is actually my own laugh. People are like, ‘Oh this Joker laugh is so good!’ I’m like, ‘Don’t think I’m actually crazy, but this is how I laugh whenever something’s really funny.’ So I have a really weird, interesting — I call it my auteur laugh. That’s mine. So yeah, there are bits and pieces from other Jokers, but it’s very much an over-exaggerated version of what Nick would be like in this situation.

Episode 9 of Batwoman's third season ("Meet Your Maker") premieres on The CW next Wednesday, Jan. 19.