Critics agree Joaquin Phoenix
gives an unnerving and astonishing lead performance in “Joker,” and it turns out channeling that dark energy every day on set was not easy for both Phoenix and the production at large. In Phoenix’s new cover story for The New York Times
, “Joker” co-writer and director Todd Phillips
reveals his leading actor “lost his composure on the set, sometimes to the bafflement of his co-stars.”
“In the middle of the scene, he’ll just walk away and walk out,” Phillips said. “And the poor other actor thinks it’s them and it was never them — it was always him, and he just wasn’t feeling it.”
Phoenix might have walked off set, but he always returned after taking a breather. Phillips remembered Phoenix reassuring him after an especially tense moment, “We’ll take a walk and we’ll come back and we’ll do it.