Joaquin Phoenix explains why it was 'almost painful' to develop the Joker laugh
For a while now, fans of DC comics have been beaten by Marvel when it comes to movies. After Batman vs Superman and Justice League opened to a lacklustre reception, it seemed to kill the DC cinematic universe, despite the relative success of Wonder Woman and Shazam.
But it could be that the new Joker movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix, could unseat Marvel's dominance at long last. Taking inspiration from movies like Taxi Driver, as well as Alan Moore's classic comic The Killing Joke, this grim and psychological origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime has gotten superhero fans hyped.
Check out this teaser for the Joker movie:
It's true, however, that Joaquin Phoenix has a lot to live up to, given the fact that he's competing against the likes of Mark Hamill, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger. In fact, it seems as though he had a bit of trouble with the most important part of the role: the murderous villian's laugh.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Phoenix stated that the Joker's laugh was: "Something that's almost painful. 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."
He continued: "I didn't think that I could do it, I kind of practised 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."
Phoenix added: "I found that I would identify certain parts of his personality or his motivation and then I would back away from that because I wanted there to be a mystery to the character. Throughout the course of shooting it felt like every day we were discovering new parts of his personality, up until the very last day."
Watch the final trailer for the Joker movie below:
Indeed, it seems as though Phoenix's method acting has paid off, as the movie received an eight-minute-long standing ovation from critics at the premiere.