Joaquin Phoenix Starved Himself To Play 'Joker'

We all know the term method acting right? It's when an actor gets so immersed in the role that they become the character both behind the cameras and in front of them.

That is why Joaquin Phoenix did, but it was not the only method for him. He took it physically too.

Director Todd Phillips spoke a bit about the process and what brought it about.


“We talked a lot about, ‘How skinny should Arthur be? How far do we want to go?’”

They were unsure of how far to take it, but apparently, Phoenix was ready to take it to the next level.

Phoenix had his own ideas, and decided to take things in his own hands to get himself to be skinny.


“And he goes, ‘I got it, I got it.’ I go, ‘We can hire a guy, I’ve got this woman who’s a nutritionist, you might want to [talk to her].’ ‘No no, that’s not how I do it.’ I go, ‘How do you do it?’ He goes, ‘I just stop eating and I starve myself.’ He just ate an apple a day for the whole summer.”

Glenn Fleshler, Phoenix's costar, almost didn't recognize him when they made it to the table read.


“When I laid eyes on him at a table read, he’d lost 50 pounds. He was like a shell of himself,” he said. “He was fully immersing himself in the role.”

Talk about taking method acting to the next level.

But Phoenix explained that the weight loss really changed his mind.


“[It] affects your psychology. You start to go mad when you lose that amount of weight in that amount of time.”

That's a lot of mental strain for a movie role if you ask me.