According to a report from The Daily Beast, critics have been raving for Joaquin Phoenix’s rendition of the Joker, stating almost universally that Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is perhaps the most deranged version of the character the big screen has ever seen.
Speaking about the movie while at the Venice Film Festival, Joaquin stated part of what made him so attracted to the movie was the fact he and everyone else involved was going to make it in their own way. “So for me, I didn’t refer to past interpretations of the character,” the Gladiator alum stated.
Todd Phillips stated that he and Joaquin had actually met approximately half-a-year before shooting to come up with the laugh, look, and the character design. But the part to really make the version of the Joker special was the weight-loss of approximately 52 pounds.
According to Phoenix, losing that much weight really affects a person’s psychology, adding, “you start to go mad,” when a weight-loss of such proportion comes into play. Moreover, Joaquin was given a book on the “absurdities of life,” and he used the journal and joke-book to influence his character.
Joaquin stated that for the first few days, Todd had given him suggestions on what to write in the journal, however, things started to come to him with time. Phoenix claimed the importance of the character was to keep him mysterious, and not totally reveal why he was the way that he was.
Regarding his laugh, Todd came up to Joaquin and showed him an idea of what he wanted it to sound like, explaining the necessity for it to be almost painful to listen too. Joaquin claims it took him a long time to come up with it.
Joaquin also stated he was interested in the aspect of Arthur Fleck characterized as “light,” rather than just the dark side. He said it was important for him to understand the part of Arthur that wanted to connect with others and feel “warmth and love.”
While Mr. Phoenix may not be comparing and contrasting himself to other versions of the Joker, there is no question that viewers and fans will compare him to Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight.