Joaquin Phoenix Says He Didn’t Base His Joker On Heath Ledger’s Famed Take

The much-anticipated “Joker” made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival today, but before the screening, the cast and crew sat down for a press conference.

Joaquin Phoenix who plays Joker said that he didn’t pull from past actors to play the villain like Jared Leto or Heath Ledger for his version of the character.

“The attraction to make this film and this character was that we were going to approach it in our own way, so, for me, I didn’t refer to any past iterations of the character,” the Oscar-nominated actor said. “It just felt like something that was our creation in some ways.”

RELATED: Joaquin Phoenix Asks To Be Introduced As ‘Joker’ In New Trailer

The new take on the Joker origin story sees Arthur Fleck, an aspiring stand-up comedian who turns dark as he wishes to get even with the Wayne family who previously employed his ailing mother. The Todd Phillips’ directed film also stars Robert De Niro as a talk show host who plays a critical part in turning Fleck and Zazie Beetz.

The two then further discussed how Phoenix moulded his character.

“The first thing was the weight loss, that’s really what I started with. As it turns out, that impacts your psychology, and you really start to go mad when you lose that much weight in that amount of time,” Phoenix recalled. “There’s also a book about political assassins that I thought was interesting, and breaks down the different types of personalities that do those sorts of things [I do in the film].”

RELATED: New ‘Joker’ Clip Teases Robert De Niro’s Role

“I wanted the freedom to create something that wasn’t identifiable. This is a fictional character, and I didn’t want a psychiatrist to be able to identify the kind of person he was,” Phoenix continued. “We were getting into medication and what issues he might have, but [I thought] let’s step away from that. We want to have the room to create what we want.”

“Throughout the course of shooting, every day felt like we were discovering new aspects of the character and shades of his personality, up until the very last day,” he finished.

“Joker” will make its way to the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival before hitting theatres on Oct. 4.

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