Joaquin Phoenix Could 'Care Less' What People Think About Him Playing the Joker

Joaquin Phoenix is stepping into the crosshairs of DC Comics fandom by playing the titular role in [...]

Joaquin Phoenix is stepping into the crosshairs of DC Comics fandom by playing the titular role in Joker, Todd Phillips' upcoming standalone Joker origin story. However, according to Phoenix in a recent interview, the pressure of pleasing the fandom is not one that he feels. At all.

Here's what Phoenix told Indiewire, after being asked if he feels the pressure to confirm to fan expectations of The Joker:

"I could care less. I don't really think that much about what people think. Who cares, who cares? My approach to every movie is the same. What I'm interested in is the filmmaker and the idea of the character," he said.

Phoenix could easily be described as an "actor's actor," more so than "a star" or "a celebrity." Phoenix is known for being a deeply method actor, as seen in films like his Oscar-nominated performance in Walk the Line (where he learned to play guitar from scratch) — or his controversial real-life performance for Casey Affleck's 2010 "documentary" I'm Still Here, in which Phoenix publicly announced his "retirement" from acting, in order to become a rapper. His commitment to that project was so deep, that many actually thought the actor had suffered some kind of mental breakdown.

A decade after Heath Ledger's famously method performance as The Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, a lot of DC fans still hold the superstition that to play The Joker with such deep commitment is to invite actual madness into the actor's mind. The question of how method Phoenix will go for the role has already been discussed all over the internet, and it could be for genuinely good reason. Judging from Phoenix's quote, it sounds like all he's focused on is director Todd Phillips' vision, and bringing that character to life.

Joker has quickly amassed an impressive mix of acclaimed veteran actors, like Francis Conroy and Robert De Niro, and sharp comedic talents like Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Deadpool 2), Marc Maron (Maron, GLOW) and Bryan Callen (Mad TV, The Goldbergs). Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but we know that Phoenix will play "Arthur Fleck," a downtrodden comedian who gets wrapped up in Gotham's underworld, eventually becoming the nightmare known as The Joker.

While a lot of DC fans might be skeptical about this project, there's a good bet that Phoenix will be able to deliver something truly special — certainly more special than Jared Leto's "Mr. J" in Suicide Squad. Just sayin'.

Joker arrives in theaters on Oct. 4, 2019.