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Batwoman Star Nick Creegan Speaks Out on Being DC Comics’ First Black Joker

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Batwoman returned from midseason hiatus on Wednesday night, continuing the wide array of surprising storylines within The CW series’ third season. One of the season’s biggest looming plotlines has to be the transformation of Marquis Jet (Nick Creegan) into the show’s new version of The Joker. Fans began to see Marquis’ path in the midseason premiere, “Trust Destiny”, where his extravagance and villainous tendencies were put on full display. In a recent interview with The Wrap, Creegan broke down his reaction to being the first Black actor to portray The Joker, and teased how his approach to the iconic villain will involve “bits and pieces” from other actors who have played the character.

“It’s crazy. It’s wild, actually,” Creegan revealed. “Yeah, 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.”

“It’s funny because I dressed up, on Halloween, I dressed up as Jared Leto’s Joker back in like 2016 or 2015,” Creegan explained. “And the thing that I really liked about his Joker was how different it was than every other rendition, right? He was wearing chains and he had gold teeth. And he was just like this new, edgy, different version of the Joker. And for Marquis, being that he’s so new and he’s very much into fashion, he’s very much into being himself. 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.”

“The laugh, for instance, is actually my own laugh,” Creegan continued. “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.”

While the first half of Batwoman‘s third season did reveal Marquis’ ties to the original Joker — particularly, that he was traumatically injured by his joy buzzer as a child — the twist of him becoming the next Clown Prince of Crime definitely surprised fans.

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“One of the most cool parts about this role is knowing that I eventually transitioned into the Joker, right? So it was interesting because this one fan tweeted the other day, she said ‘I rewatched all the episodes after Episode 7 and I could see Nick subtly injecting moments of the Joker into Marquis from the beginning,'” Creegan revealed. “There were certain little smirks and things that were going on and the wheels are turning. So, from the beginning, I was just having so much fun being charming and feeding off people’s vulnerability, and you know, making people feel empathy on set. I didn’t really have a hard time balancing the charm because there was always this undertone of madness and craziness. And, you know, each director that I worked with on each episode always reminded me like, ‘Nick just remember to layer in that like little bit of insanity where it’s like, this dude – Is this dude OK? Now he’s fine, right?'”

New episodes of Batwoman debut Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

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