Joaquin Phoenix walks out interview following controversial question.
The upcoming Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix has been awash in controversy. And one controversial question asked of the actor regarding the movie prompted Phoenix to walk out of an interview.
Phoenix portrays a Joker noticeably unlike the character historically portrayed in the comics, or any other medium for that matter. In the film, Phoenix’ Joker purportedly engages in suicidal fantasies, urges civil disobedience and advocates violence overall. Phoenix was asked if he had concerns whether the movie might actually inspire those very same kinds of violence.
In response, a seemingly shocked Phoenix reportedly halted the interview. The apologetic actor eventually returned, but provided no answer to the question. “Did you bug out?” Phoenix asked the interviewer.
While previous portrayals of The Joker by actors such as Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto were varied, all were largely within the confines of the character established in nearly eight decades of comics publishing. The new film instead establishes the character as more of a Shakespearean tragedy figure, and takes apparent liberties with the character’s background and origin.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham. The film arrives in theaters Oct. 4.