Joaquin Phoenix committed to the role of The Joker by losing 52 pounds. He says it dramatically affected his portrayal of the character.
Speaking to attendees at a Venice Film Festival press conference, Phoenix talked about his dramatic shift in body weight as part of his preparation to portray one of the most popular villain characters in all of movie history. He said it was a vital process to get a grip on the character.
Phoenix explained, "The first thing was the weight loss, that’s really what I started with." He then explained that it turns out a big shift in weight impacts your psychology, "and you really start to go mad when you lose that much weight in that amount of time."
He discussed a book he'd read about political assassins and how different types of personalities are affected and it was something he could relate to the character in the film.
In a separate interview with ET Canada, Phoenix said he didn't get an official diagnosis from a doctor but it wouldn't surprise him to learn that severe malnutrition may have altered his thinking. It's not a practice anyone should recommend, but when it comes to portraying a character like Arthur Fleck, it has it's positive benefits.
Phoenix is being praised for his performance in the film and it shouldn't shock fans if he's nominated for his work in the movie that hits theaters October 4th.
Phoenix Is Committed... Or At Least Should Be
Actors are known for taking serious risks to play particular roles. Phoenix is specifically one of those actors in Hollywood who can get into the character so much he loses track of his own personal health.
We don't really mean it when we say Phoenix should be committed but, clearly, if you watch the character of Fleck turn into the Joker, you'll understand why the term makes a lot of sense.