Joaquin Phoenix didn’t get along with Robert De Niro on Joker sets, says ‘I didn’t like to talk to him’
It wasn't all smooth sailing between actors Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro on the sets of Joker. The Oscar-winning stars had different approaches when it came to preparing for the recently released thriller, which follows the origin story of Batman supervillain, reported People.
The director of the film, Todd Phillips recounted the friction between the powerhouse actors in Phoenix's recent Vanity Fair profile, and it all came down to whether or not to do a table read. As Phoenix explained in the piece, he prefers an easier approach to get into the skin of his characters.
"For me, I always thought that acting should be like a documentary. That you should just feel whatever it is that you're feeling, what you think the character is going through at that moment," Phoenix told Vanity Fair.
However, De Niro, an iconic figure in the film business, likes to read through scripts before shooting and be completely familiar with the character and the material. Phillips revealed that there was some disagreement before shooting began, as De Niro wanted to do a read-through of the script, a process that Phoenix dislikes.
"Bob called me and he goes, 'Tell him he's an actor and he's got to be there, I like to hear the whole movie, and we're going to all get in a room and just read it'," Phillips recalled in the interview. "And I'm in between a rock and a hard place because Joaquin's like, 'There's no f--- way I'm doing a read-through,' and Bob's like, 'I do read-throughs before we shoot, that's what we do'," Phillips added.
The two ultimately worked out their differences, with De Niro even taking a moment to hold Phoenix's face and give him a kiss on the cheek. However, that doesn't mean that they were pals on the sets, as their characters are rivals in the movie.
Phoenix explained that the pair didn't really speak on set, because of their shared acting methods and superstitions. "I didn't like to talk to him on set. The first day we said good morning, and beyond that, I don't know that we talked much," Phoenix said.
De Niro noted, "His character and my character, we didn't need to talk about anything. We just say, 'Do the work. Relate as the characters to each other.' It makes it simpler and we don't talk. There's no reason to."
Joker features a new take on the comic book character's origin story, and follows an aspiring stand-up comedian called Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) whose mental health issues escalate, ultimately leading him to a life of criminality. Apart from Phoenix and De Niro, the movie also features Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.
The film released in India on October 2, alongside Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff-starrer War and Telugu action epic Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy.
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