Zazie Beetz Explains Joker Movie Scene That Changed Everything

Warner Bros.'s Joker movie arrived in theaters this past weekend, showcasing a dark take on the nebulous origins of DC's Clown Prince of Crime. The film certainly had no shortage of shocking moments, as Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) quickly felt more isolated and betrayed by those around him in 1970s Gotham City. One sequence in particular changes everything fans had previously believed about Arthur's twisted journey, and thank to a new interview, we now have a bit more insight into how that climactic scene came to life. Major spoilers for Joker below! Only look if you want to know!

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Joker star Zazie Beetz spoke about the process of shooting the film, including one significant scene between Arthur and her character, Sophie Dumond. The film had established that Arthur and Sophie, who were neighbors at the same derelict apartment building, had developed a romantic relationship with each other. In a moment of despair, Arthur made his way into Sophie's apartment, just as she was putting her young daughter to bed. When Sophie realized that Arthur was there, she began to panic, and made it clear that she only tangentially knew who he was. At that moment, Arthur and the audience learned that the relationship with Sophie had been a figment of his imagination. And according to Beetz, the pivotal moment actually didn't require a lot of extra work behind the scenes.

"I can’t say that it was more than usual." Beetz explained. "It was maybe the standard five takes per shot, I guess. We had a few shots and a few angles. Obviously, we had some camera angles and shots that didn’t make it into the movie. I’d say we ended up doing it 15 times with all the angles involved."

Beetz also spoke about how her performance had to be consistent from take to take, albeit with some room for improvisation.

"Yes, you always have to account for continuity, but the way that Joaquin would come into the room or the way that he would approach me was different." Beetz revealed. "We also improvised sometimes. There was this base reaction that Todd and I talked about as the instinct is to immediately protect my daughter and to not flip out because that would be dangerous, potentially. Obviously, I don’t know because I haven’t had the experience of somebody just being in my apartment — somebody who was potentially a neighbor and familiar, but should not be here. For me, if I had to protect somebody, I think my knee-jerk reaction would be to try to remain calm. So, there was this overarching base to work off of, but I’d say within that, we definitely stretched and folded to find different iterations of it."

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Joker also stars Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, and Bill Camp. The film recently earned $96 million at its opening weekend box office, smashing previous records for an October release.

Joker is in theaters now. Upcoming DC movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.

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