Todd Phillips Didn’t Know Joaquin Phoenix Agreed to Star in ‘Joker,’ Until He Showed Up for Wardrobe

IndieWire | 12/15/2019 | Staff
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Joaquin Phoenix’s demented embodiment of Joker, née Arthur Fleck, is now emblazoned on the cultural psyche and probably burned onto your own brain as well. The performance is likely to land the actor his fourth Academy Award nomination, despite all of the controversy hurled at the movie since it won the Golden Lion in Venice before opening in October.

However, according to director Todd Phillips, the DC origin story wasn’t an easy sell for the star, who was reluctant to star in a superhero-adjacent property at all and has, in general, shown an aversion to genre films. Phillips talked about how he relentlessly had to chase Phoenix for the role in a recent Los Angeles Times directors roundtable video.

Pages - Script - Scene - Actor - Phillips

“If you took two pages of our script and you [hold it up] to our scene, you realize how an additive an actor can be,” Phillips said of Phoenix. “It was a pursuit to get him because initially it feels like, ‘ugh, comic book movie.’ Just the idea of it is something he wasn’t so keen on pursuing, and even when I would explain to him it’s not that, it kind of says that, but really we’re doing this other thing, there was...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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