Joaquin Phoenix Was Nervous About His Joker Movie Laugh

If you're going to play the Joker, you need to pack a punch with the character's iconic laugh. In fact, it might be what the Clown Prince of Crime is most known for, right up there with being Batman's archnemesis and the iconic purple suit. The pressures of nailing the role would explain why when it came to the laugh, Joker star Joaquin Phoenix was nervous about how his iteration of the chuckle would be received.

In a special awards season chat with Deadline, Joker helmer Todd Phillips explained Phoenix's process behind developing the laugh, even going the length to call a kind of stumbling block during principal photography. "He was nervous about the laugh because that is a hard thing to do," Phillips says. "You know, you write it on the page and think 'Ok, whatever or what actor will figure it out,' but that's another big thing that was a stumbling block. Not a stumbling block, but he was thinking 'How am I going to do that?'"

As the filmmaker says, there wasn't an exact process for it. Rather, the two would workshop it whenever looking over the script and eventually, the settled on one after some trial and tribulation. "It was just us dancing around it whenever I'd be up at his house and we were talking about the script," continues Phillips. "Then one day he's like, 'You know, I've been thinking about this laugh and can I audition it for you?' And it was actually fantastic and it's really what we see in the movie, the beginning one on the boss and in the social worker's office."

He adds, "It was amazing because he was sweating about it like so nervous about it but he did it so well."

Phillips then rounds his chat off with revealing Phoenix hasn't been known to rehearse scenes with costars. Because of that, the reactions in the movie were oftentimes the first time actors on the set were hearing the laugh.


Joker is now available wherever movies are sold.

Where'd you rank Phoenix's Joker laugh amongst them all? Share your thoughts in the comments below!