fitness & health

Why Joaquin Phoenix hesitated to play ‘Joker’ role, studied PLC victims


Joaquin Phoenix, 44, has hesitations over playing the title character in “Joker.” He recently admitted that he was scared of taking on the iconic role.

“It took me a while,” Phoenix told Total Film, as cited by Games Radar. “Now, when I look back, I don’t understand why.”

Phoenix confessed that there was a lot of fear, which he described as “motivating fear and debilitating fear” and the fear where he cannot make a step.

In addition, Phoenix said there was this kind of fear where he did not do what to do and feels insufficient, which caused him to dig deeper and deeper. Apparently, he welcomes this kind of fear.

“I love that kind of fear,” Phoenix added. “It guides us. (It) makes us work harder.”

Directed by Todd Philippines, “Joker” will make its premiere on August 31, 2019 at the 76th Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy. It will hit theaters in the United States on October 4, 2019.

Joining Phoenix in the “Joker” cast are Robert de Niro as Murray Franklin, Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond and Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck. Also in the cast are Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, Douglas Hodge as Alfred Pennyworth, Dante Pereora-Olson as Bruce Wayne and Marc Maron as Ted Marco.

To play Joker effectively, Phoenix had to study how to do the character’s evil laugh. He revealed to Italian magazine Il Vernerdi that he saw videos showing people suffering from pathological laughter and crying (PLC), a condition defined by relatively uncontrollable episodes of laughter, crying or both.

PLC is not a primary disturbance of feelings, Josef Parvizi, Steven W. Anderson, Coleman O. Martin, Hanna Damasio and Antonio R. Damasio noted in “Pathological laughter and crying: a link to the cerebellum.” They explained that it is a disorder of emotional expression so it is distinct from mood disorders in which laughter and crying are associated with feelings of happiness or sadness.

Meanwhile, watch the final trailer of “Joker” here:

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