American actor Joaquin Phoenix has given some incredible performances throughout his career, and among them, one of the best performances of his career is when portrayed the role of the iconic character ‘Joker’. Discussing Joker, how can we overlook his terrifying appearance; One of the most crucial elements of his appearance was his maniacal smile.
And looking at Phoenix’s performance, it can be said that the actor indeed aced the work. However, putting oneself in the shoes of an iconic character wasn’t an easy task as previously, during an interview, the actor reflected on the toil it took to make his performance perfect.
How did Joaquin Phoenix excel in his iconic performance as Joker?
The iconic DC comic book character Joker has been brought to life by various incredible actors like Jack Nicholson, Troy Baker, Mark Hamill, and Heath Ledger. And there is one more legendary actor from this list who put in all his efforts to bring the popular villain to life. Actor Joaquin Phoenix went beyond his limits to portray Joker and was indeed successful in it.
The Academy Award-winning actor once shared about the great toil he had to undergo to excel in the character. Phoenix asserted that, in order to maintain his individuality and authenticity in the role, he didn’t reference past Joker performances. Instead, the actor preferred to opt for the traditional way and actually decided to put himself in the shoes of the character.
Phoenix lost 52 pounds for the role to become his version of the character from the 1940 Batman comic. This physical transformation helped him to understand the character better. Phoenix said,
“It turns out that affects your psychology. You start to go mad.”
The director of the film, Todd Phillips also provided him with a blank journal so that he could discover his character better. As he started writing his thoughts in that journal, they eventually appeared in the film.
However, this wasn’t the end of Phoenix’s struggle, as the most crucial part of Joker’s appearance was yet to be aced. The actor further reflected on how he mastered the maniacal smile of Joker.
How did Joaquin Phoenix master the maniacal smile of Joker?
The most iconic part about Joker is his maniacal smile. And according to Joaquin Phoenix, mastering that smile was the toughest task. The actor got engrossed to crack the signature smile of his character. Phoenix wanted the smile to look painful. The actor claimed,
“I think for Joker it’s a part of him that wants to emerge. I think we all kind of assume what a Joker laugh is and it felt like a new, fresh way of looking at it.”
Further, the actor shared that achieving the perfect smile wasn’t a one-day task as it required several months to get to perfection. The actor shared,
“I didn’t think that I could do it. I kind of practiced alone but I asked Todd to come over to audition my laugh. I felt like I had to be able to do it on the spot and in front of somebody else. It was really uncomfortable. It took me a long time.”
Phillips also opined on the smile of Joker. He referred to the various laughs as the “affliction laugh,” the “one of the guys laugh,” and the final “authentic joy” laugh.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter