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.