Joaquin Phoenix ate “an apple a day” to slim down for Joker, the place he performs the practically skin-and-bones Arthur Fleck. In response to director Todd Phillips, Phoenix declined the assistance of a nutritionist and different consultants to lose some 52 pounds as Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver envisioned a scrawny Arthur-slash-Joker. The load loss finally proved so dramatic Phoenix’s co-star Glenn Fleshler, who performs Arthur’s co-worker Randall, nearly didn’t acknowledge Phoenix throughout a desk learn. As Phoenix defined on the Venice Movie Competition earlier this yr, such drastic weight reduction “impacts your psychology. You begin to go mad if you lose that quantity of weight in that period of time.”
“We talked lots about, ‘How skinny ought to Arthur be? How far can we need to go?’” Phillips says within the Joker: Vision & Fury special feature included on the movie’s dwelling launch. “And I stored saying to him, ‘When are you gonna begin shedding weight? At what level do you begin this?’ As a result of it was already like June, and he hadn’t began, and we began taking pictures in September. And he’s like 180 kilos. He wasn’t fats, however we’re speaking attending to 125 kilos.”
Phillips continues, “And he goes, ‘I bought it, I bought it.’ I’m going, ‘We will rent a man, I’ve bought this lady who’s a nutritionist, you would possibly need to [talk to her].’ ‘No no, that’s not how I do it.’ I’m going, ‘How do you do it?’ He goes, ‘I simply cease consuming and I starve myself.’ He simply ate an apple a day for the entire summer season.”
For Fleshler, Phoenix’s eventual bodily transformation was a shock. “Once I laid eyes on him at a desk learn, he’d misplaced 50 kilos. He was like a shell of himself,” he says. “He was absolutely immersing himself within the position.”
That immersion additionally meant partaking in prolonged conversations with Phillips in regards to the psychology of the mentally unwell Arthur, which Phillips and Phoenix largely wanted to leave ambiguous.
“We talked lots about who would he be, and why is he like this, and what’s his factor, and the place does that snicker come from, and why does he put on make-up or not, [and so on]. And we actually simply began studying lots about narcissism, and ego, and issues that we expect which can be sort of baked into our model of Joker,” says Phillips, who provides this Joker is “a narcissist, however he’s an egoless narcissist in our thoughts.”
“The ego is Arthur, the ego is the factor that’s attempting to manage this wild drive that’s Joker. However Joker is pure id,” Phillips explains. “So we simply thought, ‘What occurs if you undergo your life sporting a masks?’ Which lots of people do, you’re sporting a masks and also you’re pretending to be a sure means. And Arthur could be very sort of managed, however there are these glimpses of who he’s beneath. And what occurs if you take the masks off, which is sort of a bizarre flip, as a result of truly Joker wears a masks — or make-up — however the concept is, ‘What occurs if you cease residing that life, and dwell because the shadow?’ Then you definitely simply make the film and also you overlook all that, and also you simply make the movie, and also you hope it is sensible on some stage.”
Joker is obtainable to personal on 4K Extremely HD and Blu-ray January 7. Observe the creator @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.