I’m a HUGE Joaquin Phoenix fan, so when I heard that he was going to be the lead in a standalone Joker movie I knew it was going to be amazing. I knew this before the first mages of Joaquin in make up were out. I knew this before the trailer was out. I knew it before all the pre-release reviews were out. But, now that the pre-release reviews are out, I’m extremely happy to find that I wasn’t wrong. Here are the 10 reasons Joaquin Phoenix was perfectly cast to play The Joker.
His personal life
First of all, Joaquin Phoenix’s personal life was now walk in the park. He doesn’t rank up there with Keanu Reeves or Mark Ruffalo in terms of personal misfortunes, but he has definitely had his share of bad luck. I’m not saying that having a difficult life is a prerequisite to being able to depict the Joker, but having some memories to pull from definitely helps. More on that next!
Children of God
When Joaquin and his brother River were kids, their parents were part of the Children of God cult. Now, they weren’t deep in the cult, but they were still part of it. Joaquin says that when his parents realized that what they were part of was more sinister than just a “friendly community of likeminded people” they were able to quit without losing much. But the experience still played a role in Joaquin’s life.
Joaquin’s brother, River, died of a drug overdose in 1993. River Phoenix was a great actor too! He played with Keanu Reeves in the cult classic My Own, Private Idaho and the action movie Little Nikita. The death of his brother really affected Joaquin.
His rap career
In the mid 00’s Joaquin suddenly told everyone that he was going to quit his acting career and become a rapper. It’s still unclear whether the whole thing was a huge, elaborate, life-consuming prank to be able to make the movie I’m Still Here, but whatever it was — Joaquin committed 100%. He didn’t act, his personality changed to reflect his career change, and he seemed to become a totally different person. So, he has experience in radical shifts in his life (something that definitely came in handy when he was acting as Joker).