Joaquin Phoenix Had One Rule That Everyone Needed To Follow On The ‘Joker’ Set

The video of Joaquin Phoenix cursing out a crew member while filming Joker (that’s sooooo Larry) might not have been real, but there was nothing fake about his commitment to playing the Clown Prince of Crime. He lost 50 pounds, he stormed off set when director Todd Phillips told him that he was “f*cking great,” and he got into an argument with co-star Robert De Niro about acting, which is like telling Hank Aaron the best way to hit a home run. Phoenix also made everyone follow one rule on set.

“I had a meeting with Todd,” actor Josh Pais, who plays Arthur Fleck’s boss in Joker (he also voiced Raphael, the one with “the most attitude on the team,” in 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!), told the Hollywood Reporter. “He said, ‘I loved your tape. I just want to make sure that you’re not an asshole because one person on set can really ruin the whole vibe of the thing.’ Joaquin told Todd, ‘I don’t care who you cast, just make sure everybody is a really good actor — and no assholes.’ So, I guess I passed the test.”

As far as rules go, “no assholes” is one of the best. It helps that no one was mailing rats and bullets, because method acting. Pais continued:

“I worked three days. The level of concentration, the level that we all knew Joaquin was going to bring to this created such a focused set. I felt like I had to bring my A-game, and everybody on the crew felt the same. There was very little extraneous work going on. Very often between a take, the sandwiches come out, and everybody starts chit-chatting. And then, X amount of time tends to happen before it’s like, ‘Oh wait, let’s get back to shooting.’ That was not happening on this. It was extremely focused, and it was a high level of concentration… Everybody was bringing it.”

All the hard work paid off: Joker might cross the billion dollar mark.

(Via the Hollywood Reporter)