Hamill’s certainty that his past success as Luke Skywalker would keep him from landing the role of Joker had nothing to do with his abilities or skills. Instead, he was convinced he would never get the role assuming Bat fans wouldn’t want him in the role. Ironically, this belief gave him the confidence to give a knockout audition. As he told WIRED in a recent interview:
“I had a confidence that really helped me, because there was this big uproar that Michael Keaton was going to play Batman. ‘Oh, he’s ‘Mr. Mom,’ he’s a comedy actor.’ I mean, they hadn’t even seen it and they hadn’t realized how awesome it would become. But there was great controversy. So when I walked in I thought, ‘Do you think that? they’re going to hire Luke Skywalker to play the Joker.” “Fans are going to lose their minds.” I was so sure I couldn’t be cast. I was completely relaxed. A lot of times there’s performance anxiety. ’cause you want the part. Here I knew I couldn’t get the part, so who cares? And I drove out of the parking lot thinking, ‘That’s the best Joker they’ve got.’ will never have heard. And it’s a shame they can’t choose me.”
The joke, in fact, turned out to be on Hamill in the best way. As is typical of an actor’s neuroses, finding out he’d gotten the part caused Hamill to do a 180 on his self-confidence, remembering he’d thought, “Oh no, I can’t. not do that” when the news broke, and almost refused the game. Thankfully, the allure of playing the part quickly dispelled that self-doubt, and Hamill continued to voice the character not only for the entire series, but for several decades as well.