Joker might have been a controversial film, however, the gritty character study of Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime has been enjoying a wide range of commercial and critical success. Audiences were taken in by Joaquin Phoenix's performance as Arthur Fleck – the actor pushed the envelope in Joker. Naturally, Phoenix was recognized for his performance in the comic book movie, taking in the Best Actor award at the Golden Globes last weekend.
While most of the scenes in Joker were powerful, Phoenix reveals that the most important scene in the movie had actually been cut from the film. Sharing a speech at the Palm Springs Festival (via Geek Tyrant), the Academy Award-winning actor opened up about his work on Joker, and during the event, Phoenix revealed that an especially important scene had been cut from the movie.
"He (Todd Phillips) always encouraged me to fail, which I did a lot. A few weeks into shooting I think it became unbearable for him and we were shooting a scene, it was like the fourth take, and I said well that's about...I don't know what else I can do...that was all the ideas I have', and he said 'I think you should try another one,'" Phoenix told audiences at the festival.
"I said 'okay', so I tried another one and basically just did some more bullshit, and he said 'I think you should try another one', and he wasn't specific because I think he knew that I had to find it on my own, and I just decided to stop all of my actor-y stuff and just to listen to the other actor and to just be aware of the space that I was in and we did this take and it felt really good, and he came out and said 'that was a good take'. I said 'yeah, it felt good to me'. He said 'what was that', and I said 'sincerity'. And he said 'well you should be sincere more often.'"
According to Phoenix, that scene had been ultimately cut out of Joker, however, it had been especially important to him because it helped him find sincerity in acting for the project.
One thing is for sure though, Phoenix gave one hell of a performance in Joker, showing fans the struggles of a mentally ill man being pushed to the edge by society. Sure, Joker might have become a controversial film, but it's also sparked so many different discussions about mental health and about society.
Isn't that what great films really do?
Joker is available on Digital HD. The film will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Ultra HD Blu-Ray today, January 7, 2020.