Joaquin Phoenix walks out of Joker interview after question about the film’s violence

An hour later, Phoenix finally returned to finish the interview


Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (Warner Bros.)

    Why so serious? Well, if you’re Joaquin Phoenix, it’s because you’re tired of interviewers asking leading questions. During a recent press interview, the actor walked out of the room when asked if he worried violence in Joker would inspire the wrong people.

    It all started during a promotional interview for Joker with The Telegraph critic Robbie Collin. The new movie is said to feature graphic scenes that connect the dots for the supervillain’s dark origin story. As such, Collin approached the topic of the movie’s potential ability to incite real-world violence, asking if the film “might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results?”

    Phoenix’s reaction was immediate. “Why?” he said. “Why would you…? No, no.” He then left the room. An hour later, Phoenix returned to the room, but only after Collin engaged in “peace-brokering” with a Warner Bros. PR person. Once back, Phoenix said he hadn’t anticipated the question, which caused his sudden and panicked departure. According to The Telegraph, Phoenix never actually answered the question.

    (Read: Joker Thinks It’s Saying Something, But Acts More Like a Class Clown)


    As the first R-rated live-action Bat-film, yeah, Joker definitely strikes a darker tone than its predecessors. Phoenix underwent enormous weight loss for the role, and said he started “to go mad” trying to nail the harrowing Joker laugh. You can finally witness it all firsthand when Joker officially comes out on October 4th. In the meantime, revisit the movie’s eerie trailer.

    For fans concerned the visceral imagery in Joker might spill over into other Batman films in development, don’t fret. Filmmaker Matt Reeves has flatly stated his The Batman with Robert Pattinson will “definitely not” cross over with Phoenix’s feature.

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