Joaquin Phoenix Reveals How He Found His Joker Laugh

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In the wake of Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime, it’s become quite a daunting task to play the Joker. As if attempting to tap into the inner-workings of a maniac weren’t difficult enough, Ledger’s permanently set the bar for any following interpretations of the character – at least in the live-action world (any other Mark Hamill fans out there?).

But while Jared Leto more or less crapped the bed in Suicide Squad, hopes and anticipation have stayed high for Joaquin Phoenix’s upcoming take on the crime-committing clown. With DC giving the Todd Phillips film a big awards push, including screenings at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, it’s shaping up to be unlike any other comic book movie ever made.

But speculation over the film’s success has been running rampant ever since the official trailer dropped in early April. Included in the epic, two-minute sneak peek were our first looks at Phoenix and Robert De Niro’s characters, as well as our first introduction the Walk the Line star’s eerie laugh, a trademark of the Joker archetype.

With that said, Phoenix was recently interviewed by Italy’s Il Vernerdì di Repubblica and was asked where exactly he found that laugh. The answer’s quite appropriate: it came from a neurological condition known as pathological laughter, which causes sufferers to laugh uncontrollably. Sound familiar?

In any case, Batman fans can sleep soundly at night knowing that the iconic villain’s in good hands. Phoenix is among the most dedicated and ferociously compelling actors working today, and by the time Joker hits theaters this fall, it sounds like we’ll have something quite special in our hands.

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