Mark Hamill found inspiration to audition for the role of the Joker when he remembered the initial backlash surrounding Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman. Despite being recognized as one of the best actors to portray the Joker, Hamill’s journey may not have happened if he hadn’t been inspired by Tim Burton’s decision to cast Keaton as Bruce Wayne in two Batman movies prior. Nowadays, Keaton is also widely acclaimed as one of the most popular Batman actors, and he will reprise the role in The Flash movie this summer.
However, Keaton’s casting also faced controversy when it was initially announced. In an interview with WIRED, Hamill discussed how he approached his audition for Batman: The Animated Series with confidence, fueled by the initial complaints about Keaton’s casting. This knowledge allowed Hamill to ignore any negative voices and focus on delivering an exceptional performance. When asked about how he landed the role of the Joker, Hamill explained:
“I simply auditioned for it. I had a strong sense of confidence, thanks to the uproar about Michael Keaton being cast as Batman. People were saying, ‘Oh, he’s Mr. Mom, he’s a comedic actor.’ They hadn’t even seen him in the role, and they didn’t realize how great he would become. But there was significant controversy.”
This confidence led Hamill to deliver an audition that he was pleased with for the Joker role. However, he also believed that the producers might still reject him, regardless of the quality of his audition. Consequently, Hamill didn’t experience anxiety before or during the audition, as he assumed he couldn’t be cast. However, once he learned that he had indeed been chosen for the part, his emotions quickly reversed, and he started feeling uncertain, thinking, “Oh no, I can’t do this!”