Joker Hair & Makeup Team Reveals Joaquin Phoenix Was Difficult to Work With on Set

Fresh off its Golden Globe wins, Joker is in a prime position to take home Oscar gold when the 92nd Academy Awards commence in February. The film is already on the shortlist for two categories including the Original Score category and the Makeup and Hairstyling category, the later for which recently held its annual "bake-off" for the final nominations. During this event, a presentation for each shortlisted movie is shown by the department heads that goes into detail about the process of working on the film, revealing new details about the production for the movies.

During the presentation for Joker, the presenters revealed some new specific bits of information about the production of the DC film, including the behavior by star Joaquin Phoenix. Though previously reported on in some instances, these examples from the hair and makeup department paint a really unique picture of their time on set working with Phoenix (who took home the Best Actor - Drama award last night).

"One of the presentation's major focal points was the difficulty of working with Phoenix," Next Best Picture reported about the presentation. "He initially wanted to do his own makeup and hair himself, and the film's makeup team had to work out a compromise with him. Additionally, he apparently didn't like being touched frequently. He lost 50 pounds for the film and was said to be "hungry" often. As such, he would walk out in the middle of hair dying jobs and would disappear on set in between takes, so the crew had a hard time finding him for touch-ups. The process of maintaining continuity was so arduous that the person in charge of keeping continuity actually quit. The team would bribe him with crackers to get him to keep still (since he could eat little else)."

Given the success of Joker at the Golden Globes it seems incredibly likely that it will go on to be nominated for prizes at the Academy Awards. Final nominations for the Oscars are set to be announced on Monday, January 13, one week from today.

The controversial new DC film has garnered a few more major nominations along the way including outstanding showing at the Critics' Choice awards nominations. The film got seven total nominations from that voting body including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Hair and Makeup, and Best Score. Joker was also honored by the American Film Institute (AFI) where it was named one of the top 10 films for the year


The Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker, an R-rated origin story for the infamous Batman villain, has so far grossed over $1 billion worldwide to become just Warner Bros.' fourth DC Comics-inspired film to reach the milestone alongside The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Aquaman. The once controversial Joker overcame worries the film might spark instances of real-life violence inspired by its titular character, who descends into madness and becomes an icon of the downtrodden in crime-ridden Gotham City.

Joker will debut on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray tomorrow, January 7.