Barry Keoghan Reveals His Favorite Joker

Barry Keoghan has revealed that Heath Ledger's Joker is his favorite version of the iconic Batman villain.

By Douglas Helm | Published

Barry Keoghan is the latest actor to portray the Joker in live-action, and he recently revealed to Collider that Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker is his favorite. Speaking about the pressures of playing such an iconic villain, Keoghan said “Heath Ledger was the best for me,” adding that he wanted to do his own version and that “it was intimidating, but I was excited for it.” Keoghan certainly can’t be blamed for being intimidated by the prospect of playing the Joker, especially when he’s walking in the footsteps of some incredible actors like Ledger.

Heath Ledger’s incredible performance as the Joker earned him a posthumous Best Actor win at the 2009 Academy Awards. Also, you have Joaquin Phoenix’s recent portrayal of the Joker, which was also critically acclaimed. While we only got a glimpse of Barry Keoghan’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime, what’s been revealed so far has definitely been promising.

While Barry Keoghan’s take on the character certainly has some shades of Heath Ledger’s performance, it does manage to be distinct and is quite a bit different from other portrayals from Joaquin Phoenix, Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero, Jared Leto, and Mark Hamill. From what you see of Keoghan’s Joker, he also seems to be more disfigured than other versions of the character. Hopefully, we’ll get to see a lot more of him in The Batman 2 and maybe even the upcoming Penguin series for HBO Max.

Barry Keoghan
Barry Keoghan

If Barry Keoghan does end up playing the Joker in the Penguin series, he’ll get to co-star alongside Colin Farrell again, whom Keoghan appears with in The Banshees of Inisherin. The film is getting a ton of praise, particularly for the performances of leads Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. While this role is quite a bit different for Keoghan than his Joker portrayal, it seems like the Martin McDonagh-directed film will definitely be worth checking out in theaters this weekend.

Since DC isn’t being quite so stingy with character continuity in their film universe, there are going to be a couple of Joker portrayals for fans to watch in the coming years. In addition to Barry Keoghan possibly reprising the role for another Matt Reeves Batman film or the Penguin series, Joaquin Phoenix will also be reprising the role in Joker: Folie a Deux (which funnily enough also stars Brendan Gleeson). Joker: Folie a Deux will also debut Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, meaning we’ll have two live-action Harley Quinns and two Jokers in the DCEU (three if Leto shows up in the role again).

It does appear that these different versions of the DC characters will remain largely separated, but you never know with the possibility of the multiverse being opened in the upcoming The Flash movie. In either case, it seems like DC definitely has future plans for Barry Keoghan to play one of the best Batman villains of all time in some future projects. Make sure to check out Keoghan’s brief appearance in The Batman if you missed it and go check out The Banshees of Inisherin in theaters this weekend.