When the first teaser of Todd Phillips’ Joker came out, one thing caught everyone’s attention – the film’s lead actor’s clear weight loss. Joaquin Phoenix starred in the film, looking quite lean – no – starved.
Phoenix had lost 52 pounds to play the Clown Prince of Crime in Warner Bros’ upcoming project, but it wasn’t something the actor originally wanted to do.
“It’s a horrible way to live,” Phoenix told the New York Times in an interview about the film, which follows an origin story for the iconic Batman villain set outside of any comic book.
“I think he should be kind of heavy. Todd [Phillips] was like, ‘I think you should do the real thin person,'” Phoenix added.
According to production notes from Warner Bros, Phoenix ate little more than an apple a day for the role. Phillips wanted the character to “look hungry and unhealthy.”
Joker isn’t the first time that Phoenix has lost a substantial amount of weight for a role. According to The New York Times, it’s why the actor was a bit reluctant to do it.
At the Venice Film Festival, Phoenix said losing that much weight starts to affect your psychology, saying, “You start to go mad.”
Numerous actors have played incarnations of the Joker over the years, including Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, who won an Oscar for the role posthumously.
Joker will be in theaters Friday, October 4 and is already receiving Oscar buzz for Phoenix’s performance as the iconic Batman villain. It took home the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.
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