There is no shortage of controversies surrounding Joker. While the movie itself is already shaking viewers to their core, Joaquin Phoenix says that the filming schedule in itself made him angry.
Phoenix was recently a guest on the ReelBlend podcast where he spoke about how the filming schedule had him transition from Arthur Fleck to Joker too abruptly.
“What happened is the sixth week of shooting was the first time that I played Joker," Phoenix said. "I was really angry about that because I thought that it should wait until the end, and I didn’t want to kind of shoot it in the middle, but for several reasons, we had to."
Phoenix explained that he filmed as Joker for four days then was asked to revert back to Fleck for a scene where the character confronts Thomas Wayne. The sudden return to Fleck didn't sit well with Phoenix who decided to sit down and talk with director Todd Phillips about the schedule.
"After that—after playing Joker—I just suddenly realized, Todd and I got together and we talked about everything we shot, and I just said, ‘I think that we’ve been missing something, and I feel like we’re going down a road that seems wrong in both the look, the hair is wrong, the way I’m wearing the wardrobe is wrong, and a lot of the behavior,'" Phoenix said.
The schedule may have been difficult for Phoenix but in the end, he came to appreciate what Phillips was doing with the movie.
“It was a really crazy time, but I became so grateful and thankful we shot [the] Joker [scenes] when we did, because exploring that side of the character really allowed me to see this other side," he said. "There are just some things that you can’t anticipate, and I think especially with this character it’s just alive in a way that other characters aren’t, and you can’t put your finger on it. It was a wild process. I’ve never experienced anything quite like that.”
It sounds like Phillips may have been pushing Phoenix to work harder at being the best Joker he can be. It may have paid off since Joker is currently well on its way to a massive box office take on its opening weekend.
Joker is screening in theaters worldwide.