Joaquin Phoenix Tells Why His Laugh in ‘Joker’ Is “Something That’s Almost Painful”

- in World Entertainment

Joaquin Phoenix has opened up about his role in the much-anticipated movie, Joker, which is set to hit the cinemas this October.

According to THR, the film got enthusiastic reception at the press screening in Venice this weekend, and many already are predicting that it will earn Phoenix an Oscar nomination.

Speaking about his role, Phoenix said: “For me the attraction to make this film was we were going to approach it in our own way. I didn’t refer to any past iterations of [the Joker]. It just felt like our own creations, which was really important to me and the key to it.”

He continued, “[The Joker] is so hard to define and you don’t really want to define him. We would get close at times where I found that I would identify certain parts of his personality or his motivation and then I would back away from that because I wanted there to be a mystery to the character.

“Throughout the course of shooting it felt like every day we were discovering new parts of his personality, up until the very last day. It was his struggle to find happiness and to feel connected and to feel warmth and love and that’s the part of the character I was interested in,” he said. “He was so many different things to me.  Who he was in the first few weeks of shooting was completely different than who he was in the end. He was constantly evolving. I’ve never had an experience like this. The more unpredictable and looser we left it, the more exciting it was.”

Phoenix also went in-depth in how he developed his signature laugh for the role, saying it needed to be “something that’s almost painful. I think for Joker it’s a part of him that wants to emerge. I think we all kind of assume what a Joker laugh is and it felt like a new, fresh way of looking at it.”

He added that the laugh itself was many months in the making. “I didn’t think that I could do it,” he said. “I kind of practiced alone but I asked Todd to come over to audition my laugh. I felt like I had to be able to do it on the spot and in front of somebody else. It was really uncomfortable. It took me a long time.”

Joker has its world premiere in Venice on Saturday. It opens in the U.S. on Oct 3.


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