Lakeith Stanfield Is Ready to Be the Next Joker: 'I Think It Would Be Fun to Play a Smart Villain' (Exclusive)

The 'Uncut Gems' star would love to embody the Clown Prince of Crime in his quest to play a 'smart villain.'

As Joaquin Phoenix makes the awards season rounds for his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in Todd Phillips' Joker, rumblings have already begun about who might be next to embody the iconic DC Comics villain.

Sorry to Bother You star Lakeith Stanfield has long been a fan of the Batman antagonist, sharing a video of himself dressed up as the Joker -- and singing along to an Usher song -- to his Instagram story last year, and donning Heath Ledger-inspired face paint to the Joker premiere in Los Angeles last fall.

As Stanfield keeps busy promoting his new film, The Photograph, his love for the character has come up again, with the actor mentioning that he'd love to embody the notorious villain during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, and even throwing out his Uncut Gems directors, the Safdie Brothers, as potential collaborators on the project during a recent sit-down with Collider.

"I mean, there are so many versions of [the Joker]," Stanfield explained when he and co-star Issa Rae spoke with ET's Nischelle Turner about The Photograph. "It's a fictional character, [you can] really start it however you want and design it however you want, which is a beautiful thing about it."

"But there are many characters I want to play, the Joker is just one," he added. "I think it would be fun to play a smart villain, so that is basically what I want to do."

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The actor, who was a part of two critically acclaimed films last year -- Uncut Gems and the Rian Johnson murder mystery Knives Out -- said his personal portrayals of the Joker have been less of an "audition tape" and more just having fun.

"I was laying around just dressing up," he recalled of the Instagram clip. "I was actually with a loved one at the time and we were, you know, just being funny and dressing up and that amount of freedom is the kind of thing that I love in relationships, by the way. It's like having the freedom to be able to randomly [say], 'I am going to be Joker today.' I just turned on my camera and was listening to Usher, so it just kind of happened."

Stanfield and Rae dive into the complexities of relationships in The Photograph, a romantic drama about a woman who falls in love with the journalist assigned to cover her late, estranged mother, who was a famous photographer. When speaking with ET, the pair got candid about their real-life experiences with love -- Stanfield said he's a "first move" kind of guy, while Rae admitted she likes to "sit back in the cut" -- and how you know someone is "the one."

"Oh man, how do you describe it? You just kind of know it -- maybe, more often than not, it's a ramp-up kind of feeling," Stanfield offered. "It's like, more things keep happening, more experiences take place and finally... you got to go full throttle. And it is scary, but, you know, you hope what you know and your intuition is going to drive you forward."

The Photograph is in theaters on Valentine's Day, Friday, Feb. 14. Check out the trailer below.