"You begin to walk mad," claimed the Academy Award-nominated actor, who shed 52 pounds in his method approach come the role.

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Like it or not, Joker—which adheres to the transformation of Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix), a down-and-out clown and aspiring comic, right into the villainous Joker—is continuing its rampage v award season.

Most the the love has gone to Joaquin Phoenix—who has already won numerous awards for his performance, including the Critics" choice Movie award for best Actor, and also the gold Globe compensation for finest Actor in a Motion photo Drama. Following up? The Academy Awards, whereby Phoenix is a shoo-in come win ideal Actor, too.

Now, one does not win finest Actor in any kind that psycho-prestige film anymore without doing part crazy an approach shit. While there room still no story of anything approaching Jared Leto’s Joker method madness, Phoenix (the same guy who pretended to give up acting for rapping because that one long, painful bit) went through a physical—and mental—transformation because that his acclaimed role.


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Extreme load Loss

Phoenix lost 52 pounds for the role, a procedure that he said informed his performance. "The an initial thing for us was the weight loss," said Phoenix when Joker debuted at the Venice movie Festival. "I think that’s yes, really what I started with. And, as it turns out, that then affects your psychology. You begin to walk mad when you lose that amount of load in that amount of time."

About a month later, Phoenix did among his favourite things—making the late-night display rounds—and spoke on Jimmy Kimmel Live around what the was favor to shed so much weight in that quick of a time.

"In the beginning, you"re exhausted," Phoenix said. "You look in ~ a trip of stairs and also it takes choose 30 seconds. You have to talk yourself into it and also say, "I can do this, I recognize I have the right to do this.""

Then, as he got to his target weight, Phoenix said he began to feeling “energized and excited,” making use of his hunger and brand-new range that body activity to educate the role.

Still, as Phoenix told The new York Times: "It"s a horrible method to live."


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The Laugh

Of course, maybe above everything else, the one point you need to nail about the Joker is his blood-curdling laugh. In one interview, Phoenix defined watching videos of civilization who endure from pathological laughter, a disorder significant by bursts of uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing. And a synopsis that the movie report by The Hollywood Reporter revealed the in the film, Fleck himself suffers indigenous the disorder.

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"I think Joker is a component of that’s trying come emerge, and I think the was a yes, really interesting means of looking at this laugh," claimed Phoenix. "But honestly, i didn’t think the I might do it. Ns would exercise alone and also then inquiry Todd to come end to audition mine laugh, because I felt like I had actually to perform it ~ above the spot and in front of somebody else. It take it me a lengthy time."

Of course, Phoenix finished up v a cackle that’s more Heath Ledger, and also less Jared Leto. Return the Joker actor still says that he never felt quite worked out with the laugh.

"There were part scenes where, for every little thing reason, it came out and also it feeling right and other scenes that it to be a struggle," that told ETOnline. "Sometimes one take would certainly work and also another wouldn"t. I think it to be something that was alive, in a way."


Joker madness on Set

"Who he remained in the first couple of weeks of shooting was totally different than that he was in the end," Phoenix said of the character. "He to be constantly evolving. I’ve never had an experience choose this. The more unpredictable and also looser we left it, the much more exciting the was."

Well, that’s exactly how Phoenix mental the manufacturing of Joker, at least. His fellow cast and also crew members had their very own stories. According to cinematographer Lawrence Sher, after shoot an extreme Joker-laugh scene, director Todd Phillips said Phoenix the take was “fucking great.”

"Todd said, "I don"t think i was claimed to tell that it was good, i think i screwed up,"" Sher called Business Insider. "Those first couple of weeks were intense."

An armful of awards later, it seems choose everything worked out for Phoenix, Phillips, and the Joker team. Possibly it’s all thanks to the one dominance Phoenix laid under on set. According to mockery Pais, who plays Fleck’s boss in Joker, Phoenix said Phillps:

“I don’t treatment who friend cast, just make sure everybody is a really great actor—and no assholes."


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