Its only been three weeks since Todd Phillip’s brand new origin movie, Joker, hit screens, and its already racked up quite a significant media storm. And now, reports have come out saying that Joaquin Phoenix, who played the criminal mastermind himself, actually improvised one of the creepiest and haunting scenes in the movie.
Joker tells the story of the infamous anti-hero and how he becomes the clown-faced criminal mastermind we all know him as. Phoenix’s haunting performance has certainly got people talking and the film has received a slate of mixed reviews – with some saying the flick was “Oscar-worthy” and others expressing concern over its misinformed representation of mental illness.
One thing many of us can agree on, however, is how well Phoenix immersed himself into the role. So much so, that he reportedly improvised one of the most disturbing and talked-about scenes in the movie.
The harrowing scene in question shows Arthur Fleck (aka the Joker) randomly remove the food from his refrigerator and climb in, almost completely nude – highlighting the sheer mental instability of the failed comedian.
Many assumed, as you would, that this scene was either the product of some kind of spur of the moment writing or expertly crafted narrative, but it seems it was quite the opposite.
Joker cinematographer Lawrence Sher revealed to SlashFilm that the team were equally as shocked by the refrigerator scene.
“While some scenes were very planned out, like when he’s in the phonebooth or walking up the stairs, others had no plan at all,” he explained.
“When he climbed in the refrigerator, we had no idea he was going to do that. We set up two camera positions, and Joaquin just thought about what he would do if he was a massive insomniac. Again, we lit it so he could go anywhere, and the first and only time he did it, we were mesmerized.
“I remember thinking, ‘What is he doing? Did he just crawl in the fridge?’ It was as fun and weird for us to watch it, too.”
Joker has grossed a staggering $747.6 million at the box office since its release on October 4.
Many people claim to have been left so disturbed after watching the movie that they have walking out of the cinema.
Taking to Twitter, one rattled viewer said: “I’ve just walked out of the Joker. Maybe I was naive in going/didn’t realize what an origin story would be like, maybe because I live with someone with MH [mental health], it was just far too dark for me to be able to watch.”