[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”28418″ img_size=”800×500″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]After Heath Ledger’s phenomenal performance as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, it is no secret that whoever was going to do the next portrayal of the iconic villain will have big shoes to fill. After all, Ledger posthumously won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role and over a decade later, critics are still raving about his chilling performance. Saying that, it is no wonder why Joaquin Phoenix was hesitant before he signed on to play the DC Comics villain, and we finally get to hear from him about his thoughts on taking on such a huge character.

Recently, the actor sat down with Total Film to talk about Joker, which comes out later this year. It was there Phoenix admitted it took him longer than he even expected to commit to the role.

“It took me a while [to commit],” the actor said. “Now, when I look back, I don’t understand why.”

As noted by Total Film, the Joker is the first comic role that Phoenix chose to take… but it is not the first time he was offered one. The star was offered roles in the past with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including playing as the Hulk in lieu of Edward Norton as well as Doctor Strange. Those plans did not pan out for Phoenix and, as he shares in this interview, it turns out fear nearly kept the actor from pursuing the Joker.

“There was a lot of fear, yeah,” Phoenix explained.

“But I always say there’s motivating fear and debilitating fear. There’s the fear where you cannot make a f–king step, and there’s the kind where it’s like, ‘OK, what do we do? That’s not good enough.’ And you’re digging deeper and deeper. I love that kind of fear. It guides us, makes us work harder.”

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Phoenix continued by explaining, “I think oftentimes, in these movies, we have these simplified, reductive archetypes, and that allows for the audience to be distant from the character, just like we would do in real life,” the actor said before adding, “I thought that here was this film, and these characters, where it wouldn’t be easy for you as an audience. There are times where you’re going to feel yourself connected to him, and rooting for him, and times when you should be repulsed by him. And I like that idea of challenging the audience, and challenging myself to explore a character like that. It’s rare to explore characters like that in any movies, but specifically in the superhero genre.”

Fans won’t have to wait much longer before they see all the gritty details of this new portrayal of the Joker once it hits theaters on October 4th.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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