Joker director Todd Phillips shared a new photo from Joaquin Phoenix’s epic dance scene. Seeing the actor take that stroll down the stairs in the Bronx has become one of the most recognizable clips from a movie in the last couple of years. With Joker’s success at the box office, it would stand to reason that the staircase will remain a popular tourist attraction for a few years as the movie moves to streaming services. While the iconography plays a huge part, there is no question that Phoenix’s performance helped sell the entire film in a profound way. Phillips has been posting rare pictures from the production on social media during the quarantine period and he always takes time to thank his star for helping Joker achieve that massive success.
"All of these were taken on our last day of shooting. It was bittersweet for sure— while it felt great to be done, we also had such an intense and unique experience— and then suddenly it just ends. What a ride this film has been and it all culminated with watching Joaquin walk up on that stage this weekend. Thanks again to the entire cast and crew. And especially the fans, for seeing through all the noise and showing up."
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With Joker, Phillips credits the setting for a lot of the film’s magic. However, he understands that Phoenix is the straw that stirs the drink. Without his performance, all that wonderful staging and color design can’t reach its full potential.
“I think certain actors, it affects them a lot and others it doesn’t,” Phillips said last year. “I would say with Joaquin and a lot of actors I work with they get really affected by their wardrobe and with Joaquin as fas as like the garbage being piled on the streets and all that stuff. I think you can’t help but feel it, but I know with him it was much more wardrobe based than necessarily the production design. And you know, some of the production design, to be fair, is we don’t do a lot of CGI in this movie, but there is a certain amount of world-building we did.”
“I’ll give you an example, you know with the MTA here in New York, they’ll give you a train, but you can’t put the spray paint on it,” he added. “Even though they know the trains were spray-painted in the 1980s, you just can’t do it. Even if you could wash it off, they just don’t want it like that. They said, ‘If you’re going to do it, do it in post.’ Like all of the graffiti on the outside of the train coming by, that wasn’t there when we shot so, you know, when Joaquin’s getting off that train to kill those guys, there is no graffiti there. But, he is somebody who I think just really got into it through all of the characteristics of Arthur, but also the wardrobe seems to inform him.”
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