Almost everyone knows the crazy Joker laugh from the 2019 film ‘Joker’ and how fascinating it was. But not many know the story behind the origin of the laughter. Joaquin himself explains.
Joaquin Phoenix starrer ‘Joker’ was the dream of every cinephile. The film brought to screen the origin story of arguably the most complex, iconic and cult comic book villain ever conceived. Directed by Todd Philips, the film was a major success on the box office and on the critical scale. Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for his role in the film, and rightly so. But the fans asked what the story was behind the ‘Joker laugh’. The laughter has been a key aspect of every Joker ever committed to the screen and the fans of Phoenix were aware since the beginning that their favourite actor won’t leave any stone unturned in making the laughter iconic. In a Q and A, Joaquin decoded the origin of his laughter, which will be associated with the character for a long time to come.
- Arthur Fleck’s laugh in Joker
- Joaquin Phoenix’s laugh in Joker
Phoenix talked about director Philips’ involvement in his acting process. “So, he showed me some videos. Of some laughs. And I thought that’s really good. And he – in the script it described the laugh being almost painful. And I thought that was a really interesting way to describe laughter. And so, I just kind of like, I don’t know, you came over to my house. I tried. And it was really uncomfortable. Because I spent five minutes trying to work it up … and finally you said, ‘You don’t have to do this’”. This little piece of information revealed how serious Todd and Joaquin were about the laugh. In the film, Arthur Fleck is shown to be suffering from an affliction where he would laugh at tense situations. While it was a genius addition to the overall mystery behind the amazing character, it also helped Joaquin come up with the best possible laughter for the Joker.
Arthur Fleck’s laugh in Joker
Furthermore, in order to prepare for the role better, Joaquin was shown a patient who suffered from the same affliction. Joaquin, being a full-on method actor, found his true inspiration for the character, used it as the base and crafted his own rendition of the laughter. Thus, we can say that the Academy Award was well deserved.
Joaquin Phoenix’s laugh in Joker
During the Q and A, Joaquin further shed light on his preparation for the ‘laughter scenes’. “And for him to summon it on the day of the shooting was always different and sometimes he would need time to do it honestly. I’m talking about the affliction laugh. That was to me probably, I can’t speak for you, but the hardest one to do. There’s the laugh where he’s fake laughing to be one of the guys or in the comedy club. And then there’s the end in the [spoiler] where he’s genuinely laughing at something. But the affliction laugh I think was probably hard to muster up, so there were times on set where he would be a little bit pacing.”
We know how hard it would have been for any actor to live such an eccentric character for months and make it believable. It can take a toll on mental and emotional health. The way it happened with Heath Ledger, who played Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’. But there is no point in comparing the two performances. Both were great in their own right.
A role of such intensity required no less dedication and difficulty to put on-screen. But Joaquin pulled it off and ensured a creepy, dark, atmospheric and mysterious atmosphere for his audiences that lingers on years after the film was released.
Tell us in the comments how much did you like ‘Joker’. Also comment on Joaquin Phoenix’s best performance of all time, as per you.