Joaquin Phoenix pays tribute to Heath Ledger in acceptance speech for 'Joker' at SAG awards

Joaquin Phoenix pays tribute to Heath Ledger in acceptance speech for 'Joker' at SAG awards

Joaquin Phoenix continued his awards sweep by paying tribute to the late Heath Ledger.

At last night's SAG awards, Phoenix thanked Ledger, who portrayed the comic book villain in 2008's The Dark Night. "Really, I'm standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger," he said during his acceptance speech for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.

Ledger's portrayal of the Joker has been greatly lauded, following his death from an accidental overdose at the age of 28 in 2008. He received a number of posthumous awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a SAG award - a collection of accolades that Phoenix also seems likely to win this awards season.

Credit: PA

Phoenix also took the time to congratulate his fellow nominees in his category. To Leonardo DiCaprio, who was credited for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, he said;

"Going to auditions, I’d get the final callback, and there would always be two other guys I was against, and we’d always lose to this one kid. No actor would ever say his name cause it was too much but every casting director would whisper: ‘It’s Leonardo'. Leo, you’ve been an inspiration to me and so many other people for 25 years. Thank you very, very much."

Watch the trailer for Joker: 

Then, speaking to Ford v Ferrari's Christian Bale, he asserted that it was "infuriating" that he never delivers a bad performance. "Christian, you commit to your roles in ways I could only dream of. You never turn in a bad performance, it’s infuriating, I wish you’d suck just one time, it would be great," he said.

Phoenix also stated that Adam Driver's performance in Marriage Story was "devastating", and that he "can't wait" to see what else Rocketman actor, Taron Egerton, does.

Watch Phoenix's full speech below: