Joaquin Phoenix believes that the most important scene in Joker was cut from the final product.
When the Joker film was announced many were delighted to find out that Joaquin Phoenix, one of this generation’s greatest actors, was slated to play the iconic character. With Joaquin Phoenix comes a completely different caliber of acting, where the actor is continuously trying to fine-tune his performance. Very few are dedicated to their craft like Joaquin Phoenix, with his performance being singled out as the highlight of Joker when it was released late last year. While many were pleased with Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker, the actor himself wasn’t at first, which lead to a bevy of different takes.
Joaquin Phoenix was on hand at the Palm Springs Film Festival to present Joker director Todd Phillips with the Variety Creative Impact In Directing award and during his speech, the actor distilled how the director helped him fine-tune his performance with various takes, with one particular take being the one where “found” the character. This take was from a scene that didn’t make the final cut of Joker, which Joaquin Phoenix described as the most important scene in the film as it helped him find the character.
“He always encouraged me to fail, which I did a lot. A few weeks into shooting I think it became unbearable for him and we were shooting a scene, it was like the fourth take, and I said well that’s about…I don’t know what else I can do…that was all the ideas I have’, and he said ‘I think you should try another one’. I said ‘okay’, so I tried another one and basically just did some more bulls***, and he said ‘I think you should try another one’, and he wasn’t specific because I think he knew that I had to find it on my own, and I just decided to stop all of my actory stuff and just to listen to the other actor and to just be aware of the space that I was in and we did this take and it felt really good, and he came out and said ‘that was a good take’. I said ‘yeah, it felt good to me’. He said ‘what was that’, and I said ‘sincerity’. And he said ‘well you should be sincere more often’. It was a scene that was ultimately cut out of the movie but it ended up being kind of the most important scene in the movie because it helped me find sincerity.”
Joaquin Phoenix didn’t give any indication as to what this scene was from Joker, but it certainly seems to have meant a lot to him. One can hope that on his insistence it makes its way onto the home video release of the film. Joker is poised to win big as awards season continues to ramp up, with Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips nominated for their respective roles at this year’s Golden Globes.
What do you think the most important scene from Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is? Let us know in the comments!
Here is the official synopsis for Joker:
Director Todd Phillips’ Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
Directed by Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham. The DC Films movie is not part of the DC Extended Universe, and seems to play into Warner Bros.’s interests of making creator-driven superhero movies over necessarily building a hyper-connected shared universe… At least for the time being.
Joker is still playing in theaters and is currently available to watch on digital formats. The movie will see a release on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 7, 2020.