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Joaquin Phoenix "could care less" about the pressure of playing the Joker

Joaquin Phoenix has spent most of his career taking on roles in smaller, more character-driven films like THE MASTER, HER, this year’s YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and more. This is why when news broke he would be cast as the Joker in the upcoming standalone movie from Todd Phillips is seemed very out of character for the actor. Even though it will probably be the most high-profile role of his career, he’s not going to let the pressure – or people’s expectations – get in the way of his performance.

Those expectations are massive, to be sure. Jack Nicholson brought the character to the big screen in a big way in 1989’s BATMAN; Heath Ledger defined the role and won an Oscar for his work in THE DARK KNIGHT and; Jared Leto stands as the most divisive Joker yet, and possibly forever. That has the potential to put a lot of pressure on any actor, but in a recent interview with IndieWire, he said he doesn’t care what people think, and only cares about the role and the director.

I could care less. I don’t really think that much about what people think. Who cares, who cares? My approach to every movie is the same. What I’m interested in is the filmmaker and the idea of the character.

Phoenix often remains pretty quiet when it comes to speaking to the press about his upcoming roles, saying it’s “ideal to be able to focus on one thing and not do press while you’re prepping for something else.” The movie won’t be the massive, big-budgeted, blue-beam-in-the-sky blockbuster most comic book movies are, but instead will have a small budget and work more like a character study. But a budget of any size doesn’t matter to Phoenix, who said all he cares about is if the project is unique.

If there’s something that feels unique, then I don’t really care what genre it is, what budget it is. Those things aren’t important. What gets my interest is examining people. Some of it is really fucking simple. It’s chemistry, it’s like what you look for in a lover. You know it when it happens.

Though he will be asked about the movie whenever someone gets a chance from now up until it comes out Phoenix is keeping everything close to the chest. He seems confident in the project and where it’s going, which for me is a good sign. He’s been picking some great roles as of late, and this movie seems like an excellent opportunity for him to dig deep and explore one of the comic world’s most iconic characters. 

The Joker movie begins filming next month, and you can catch Phoenix in THE SISTERS BROTHERS later this year. 

Source: IndieWire

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