Entertainment

Joaquin Phoenix wanted Joker to be 'heavy'

ANI | September 12, 2019 11:40 AM
Joaquin Phoenix

Washington D.C. [USA], Sept 12 (ANI): Actor Joaquin Phoenix, who is receiving rave reviews for his performance in the upcoming film 'Joker' after it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, wasn't too keen on shedding 52 pounds. Instead, his vision for his character was different than what his director Todd Phillips imagined.

Phoenix has developed a reputation as an actor who will leave no stone unturned to portray a character but losing weight for his performance in 'Joker' almost didn't happen, reported People.

Phoenix spoke to The New York Times about playing Arthur, the man who went on to become Gotham's greatest villain Joker. In the film, Arthur is portrayed as wearyingly thin, however, Phoenix wanted his character to be "kind of heavy."

"It's a horrible way to live," the actor said of having to lose a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time.

"I think the Joker should be kind of heavy," he added.

Despite his approach to the evil character, Phillips had other ideas.

"Todd was like, 'I think you should do the real thin person,'" Phoenix recalled.

The three-time Oscar-nominated actor eventually agreed, bowing to the filmmaker's creative vision and lost 52 pounds to get into the skin of his character. Phoenix also trained with a choreographer and watched videos of famous dancers, although he didn't reveal who.

Phoenix also spoke about his weight loss in August while promoting the film at the Venice International Film Festival.

He told the reporters at that time, "The first thing was the weight loss, that's really what I started with. As it turns out, that impacts your psychology, and you really start to go mad when you lose that much weight in that amount of time."

The actor went on to say that he wanted to create something that "wasn't identifiable"

"This is a fictional character and I didn't want a psychiatrist to be able to identify the kind of person he was. I wanted the freedom to create something that wasn't identifiable. We were getting into medication and what issues he might have, but I thought let's step away from that. We want to have the room to create what we want," he added.

The film is getting early Oscar buzz after winning the Golden Lion, the Venice International Film Festival's top award.

Earlier this month, 'Joker' received an eight-minute standing ovation at its Venice Film Festival premiere for the origin story that the makers mapped out for Batman's arch-villain - Joker.

The upcoming flick is a part of the DC Comics universe but will serve as an independent origin story and will not feature any appearances by Batman and other caped crusaders.

Apart from Phoenix, the film also features Robert De Niro, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham. It is slated to hit the theatres on October 4. (ANI)

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