Joaquin Phoenix Was Originally Fearful About Accepting Joker Role

Joaquin Phoenix Joker

Awesome as movies like Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home have proven to be, there’s just a different sort of electricity surrounding the upcoming Joker film that separates it from other comic book movies debuting in 2019. Aside from the fact that it’s geared toward mature audiences exclusively, the overall tone puts it in a category altogether different from the aforementioned summer blockbusters. In other words, think of it as being more along the line of, say, Taxi Driver.

Having already rejected Marvel Studios’ offers to succeed Edward Norton as the Hulk and to suit up as Doctor Strange, I must say that I was surprised to see Phoenix dabble in this genre. I mean, he did guest star on the Superboy TV show when he was a child, but that was seemingly a lifetime ago. Since then, the acclaimed actor has established himself as a force in Hollywood.

While speaking with Total Film though, Joaquin confessed the following:

“It took me a while [to commit]. Now, when I look back, I don’t understand why.”

Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and I’m sure Phoenix has no regrets now that principal photography is well behind him. Still, he admitted how it’s rather daunting to step into the shoes of a pop culture icon, saying:

“There was a lot of fear, yeah. But I always say there’s motivating fear and debilitating fear. There’s the fear where you cannot make a fucking step, and there’s the kind where it’s like, ‘OK, what do we do? That’s not good enough.’ And you’re digging deeper and deeper. I love that kind of fear. It guides us, makes us work harder.”

Though I’m not of Phoenix’s status, I can at least attempt to put myself in his mindset. Not only is the Clown Prince of Crime such a beloved villain, but he’d previously been played by the likes of Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, so I can only imagine the intimidation factor that goes along with accepting this role.

Regardless, there’s so much positive buzz surrounding Todd Phillips’ picture at this point that it really does increase the anticipation factor. Hey, if comparisons are being drawn to The Dark Knight and there’s already Oscar buzz accompanying what’s said to be the performance of Phoenix’s career, then I’m sure we’re all in for a real treat once Joker arrives in theaters on October 4th.