One of the most noteworthy movies of 2019, Joker divided the critics and united the fans in their love for this representation of one of their favorite villains. If you loved the movie and you want a behind-the-scenes peek, keep reading.
Joaquin Phoenix Didn’t Want to Do Any Read-Throughs
The actor didn’t agree to script read-throughs, which caused tension between him and another brilliant Hollywood star on set, Robert De Niro. Joaquin, who preferred a more spontaneous approach to acting was in a clash with De Niro’s vision before the shooting process started. Even though Phoenix initially refused to do a read-through, he eventually joined the rest of the cast and crew in De Niro’s office in Manhattan.
Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir Wrote the Music Off-Script
The Joker composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir, wrote the music before the production stage. The process is usually reversed – the composers see the picture first and then they start working on the music but this time, it was different. Guðnadóttir’s work practically inspired the bathroom scene as we know it in the movie. Joaquin was not supposed to do any dance moves but he was influenced by her music that was being played on set.
The Script Kept Changing During Filming
In many ways, writing the script and actually shooting the dialogue differed a lot. Some scenes, like the ones with Zazie Beetz that plays Sophie, were greatly improvised while filming. According to Joker’s director Todd Phillips, Zazie was great at adapting to the changes and even helped with her character’s lines.
Phoenix Lost 53 Pounds For the Role
Many actors go through quite the transformation for their roles. Similarly to Christian Bale, who lost 60 pounds for the role in The Machinist (2004), Joaquin Phoenix went through a significant weight loss in order to portray the Joker. In a Vanity Fair interview, he shared he went on a very restrictive, doctor-monitored diet to lose the weight. It’s not the first time he does it. For the movie The Master, he lost 52 pounds.
The Man Who Laughs
The silent film The Man Who Laughs (1928) was a major influence in the making of Joker. The movie is based on the same-name novel by Victor Hugo that highlights the juxtaposition of interior goodness and physical impairments. The scriptwriters of Joker used largely the message in The Man Who Laughs to build the iconic villain.