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How Joaquin Phoenix Prepared to Play the Joker

Joaquin Phoenix told Brut about the physical and psychological tricks he used to embody the twisted horror of the "Joker" — and how he came up with THAT laugh. 🤡

He tells us the frightening methods used to rise to the occassion

After Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto. Joaquin Phoenix is now playing the infamous Joker and here is how he prepared himself to embody this very special role.

“One of the first things that I did was I started to study medication and really the side effects, and I was curious about. It said he was on 7 different medications, and so, I started reading, going online and reading about it, and everybody there are all these message boards filled with people talking about these extreme changes in weight: either they put on weight or they lost weight. And it seemed like it was this common theme for so many people. And so that’s really what motivated the idea of him being thin. So that was the beginning and I had worked with this nutritionist before. It was just a very regimented diet. And that’s it. - It affected me psychologically, I mean like…Yeah, obviously. It’s really like… it’s 500 calories a day. So, losing the weight can be difficult. But surprisingly, it helped me find so much of the movement of the character, things that I hadn’t anticipated. But I think you become aware of your body in a different way. I studied these videos, there are people that have these uncontrollable fits of laughter. And I studied that. And then I really don't know. It's hard to explain it. As an actor, but it also just challenged my own feelings about this character. It challenged my empathy. And it’s really, it was a tough character, it was a tough movie, it didn’t provide any easy answers or solutions. There’s a great ambiguity to it, and I really liked that,” Joaquin Phoenix tells Brut.

The movie tells the origin story of Arthur Fleck, before he became Batman’s most famous enemy.

Brut.

10/04/2019 11:58 AM
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34 comments

  • Ramiro S.
    02/21/2020 03:51

    Should’ve excluded jareds joker from there lmao

  • Ivana V.
    02/16/2020 03:47

    Jared Leto as joker he didn't become famous

  • Tammy M.
    02/14/2020 05:09

    Congratulations

  • Anna C.
    02/13/2020 23:12

    Amazing mesmerising performance he deserves the Oscar he got

  • Dessy Y.
    02/13/2020 15:46

    👍

  • Angie D.
    02/13/2020 05:48

    Well deserved award !!! But i cannot relate this joker to Batman

  • Roger S.
    02/13/2020 01:45

    Brilliant acting. Great movie. I still think about that character a week after seeing the movie.

  • Ildikó M.
    02/12/2020 16:37

    <3

  • Tina H.
    02/12/2020 02:49

    Joker👍👍👍👍👍

  • Patience O.
    02/11/2020 22:43

    I didn't like him in gladiator but love him. Congratulations dear

  • TheIcon J.
    02/11/2020 10:56

    what a hardworking guy! 👌🏽

  • Apoorva M.
    02/11/2020 06:14

    buddy.

  • Vanessa M.
    02/11/2020 05:28

    That movie was lame as hell!!

  • Gerard L.
    02/11/2020 04:48

    After hearing his Oscar acceptance speech I think his brain is permanently damaged

  • Sheh Z.
    02/11/2020 03:53

    It feels a bit odd that the guy who played a great joker is alive after being used to of heath ledgers joker

  • Rubab U.
    02/11/2020 02:46

    Brilliant

  • Samten B.
    02/11/2020 02:45

    Joaquin Phoenix's The Joker was by far the most mature approach to any super hero/villain movie I've ever seen

  • Hira F.
    02/11/2020 01:06

    , see, i told you he lost weight for this project

  • Mark B.
    02/10/2020 23:52

    Satanic scumbag

  • Ron H.
    02/10/2020 22:48

    They are different Jokers in a different time....People forget that both DC and Marvel have different Universes that their characters live in....Heath's Joker was a different Universe then Jouaquin's Joker....Based on the Universe each portrayed their role in was fabulous...