Joaquin Phoenix went to extreme lengths to play the iconic Joker!
The Golden Globe-winning actor spoke with Access Hollywood about getting into his emaciated look to portray Arthur Fleck, aka Joker for his titular role in the standalone origin story. It’s been reported that Joaquin only at an apple a day to quickly drop 50 pounds, but he quickly shot down that rumor. “It wasn’t an apple a day. No, you’ve also got lettuce and steamed green beans.”
The actor said he worked closely with a medical professional to lose weight safely. “It’s something I’ve done before and you work with a doctor regimented and overseen and safe.”
His director, Todd Phillips, was less help with the weight loss, however. The “Walk the Line” star revealed that Todd had a food item readily on hand that Joaquin craved.
“Todd did have these f**king pretzels that I love. And he’d just have bags of them in his office! And that was difficult.”
In addition to getting in physical shape for the role, Joaquin felt conflicted about his character when he got into Joker’s head. “I had really complicated feelings toward the character when I read the script and started preparing for it. But I like that. I like that it challenged me.”
Joaquin says the complexity of the character also makes the film difficult to pin down. “It’s not an easy movie. And it’s unsettling and uncomfortable at times. But there are other times where I think you feel ecstatic,” he explained. “It’s not always enjoyable, but it makes you feel– a really strong, emotional reaction. I think that’s what I look for in a film, certainly as an actor and I think as an audience member as well.”
“Joker” hits theaters October 4, 2019.
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