Joker Star Joaquin Phoenix Reveals Why He Gets Petrified on Film Sets

Joaquin Phoenix is considered to be one of the most accomplished actors of his generation, though the performer recently opened up to reveal that he continues to be "petrified" when he's on a film set because he's nervous he won't be able to convey all of the ideas for a character that he has in his head. These remarks were inspired not only by the ways in which he would potentially be bringing a character to life, but also the anxiety that the physical space he is set to perform in might not allow him to fully realize all of his intentions.

"There are so many things that I want to express ... when I take on a role," Phoenix confessed in an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes. "And so I guess I am just nervous that I'm not going to be able to find the right kind of space to express that."

Phoenix went on to recall how, in one of Joker's more unsettling scenes, it was through the assistance of director Todd Phillips finding a way to inspire him that led to the actor finding a way to convey a disturbing transition for his character. After Phoenix's Arthur Fleck commits his first murder, he runs to a restroom to hide the murder weapon, but both he and the director felt the scene was missing something. Phillips played a piece of the film's cello score on set, resulting in Phoenix performing an eerie dance.

"It felt like the character had moved way past that… there was the opportunity to express something else, but I didn't know precisely what," the actor recalled. "I thought there was some kind of movement. That it was some kind of physical transformation, right? A metamorphosis."

The actor's performance in Joker has become the DC Comics film's standout element, which even earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Drama earlier this week, one of the highest honors ever earned by a comic book film. Phoenix is also likely to earn a nomination for Best Actor when the nominations for the Academy Awards are revealed next week. Earning the nomination alone will be an impressive achievement, as the Academy doesn't often recognize the achievements of one single performer in such a film, though Heath Ledger earned a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.


Joker is out now on 4k Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

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