'Joker' Director Todd Phillips Reveals How He Wrote This Iconic Scene
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver created a cultural phenomenon with their Joker script. Listen to Phillips break down the movie's most iconic scene.
Joker has been covered a ton, but I still can't get over how open (maybe too open?) Todd Phillips has been about sharing behind-the-scenes tips and tricks. We've love that on this site because it's not often you get to see how the sausage is made on any project that size.
Recently, Phillips sat down with The New York Times to break down one of the most famous scenes in his new Joker movie, which features Joaquin Phoenix giving a fearless (and disturbing, obviously) turn as aspiring comedian-turned-Clown-Prince-of-Crime Arthur.
Check out the scene below and we will pick up with the tweet with commentary after.
Here's the tweet from Screenplay'd which takes Phillips' words and puts them over the screenplay.
Phillips loves this scene because it was supposed to be a "What-have-I-done?" scene. That was how it was scripted, but then -- in the moment, on set -- it didn't feel right for both him and star Joaquin Phoenix. To help that, Phillips had found and played a piece of music from their composer and the Phoenix danced.
“Arthur is one of those people that has music in him,” Phillips explains. They went back to the music and choreographed a dance that wound up cementing the psychosis for the audience and being far less melodramatic. In less than a minute, Phillips gives context to the whole scene and shows us how they made a crucial decision with 200 people waiting for them that wound up making the movie feel more alive.
The lesson here is always to be malleable on set and to listen to the actors.
Filmmaking by dictatorship works for some but the best art comes from collaboration and an open mind.
The Joker is the #1 movie at the box office and a cultural sensation. How did Todd Phillips nail the opening scene?
Click to learn!