Joaquin Phoenix is starring in his upcoming movie, ‘Joker,’ and has unfortunately been getting as much guff about it as he has been getting praise. While he received a great deal of acclaim at the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals, he’s also receiving criticisms for daring to act in a movie about a violent criminal. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, the interviewer essentially accused him of inciting violence, which Phoenix found so offensive that he walked out. Apparently, the hits keep coming.
On October 1st, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel ruthlessly ambushed Phoenix with an embarrassing video while interviewing him on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’. In the clip, you could see Phoenix in his Joker make-up going on an expletive-laden rant against Lawrence “Larry” Sher because he was whispering too much on the set while he was digging deep to try to find his role.
In response to seeing the clip, Phoenix cringed and remarked that he found the clip embarrassing. He commented:
“Sometimes movies get intense. You have a lot of people in a small space and you’re trying to find something,” he said sheepishly. “That was supposed to be private, I’m sorry you guys [the audience] had to see that.”
“I should probably publicly apologize to Larry. I am sorry, but he did whisper constantly while we’re trying to work, and sometimes it’s really hard to find the emotion you’re after… he shouldn’t have done it.”
While I’m not a fan of ambush journalism, it is possible that the clip and confrontation were just a bit. Both of them have a history of performing mocks and skits. The whole scene played out like it might have been a joke, and Phoenix looks chagrined, but not offended by something that was obviously meant to be punishing. Plus, with as odd as ‘Joker’ and its surrounding publicity have been, it wouldn’t be surprising if the whole thing was a setup. You can see the setup and clip in its entirety above.
Either way, the film looks amazing and I can’t wait to see it when it opens on October 3rd.