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Thread: Your MOST INFLUENTIAL Screen Characters

  1. #21

    Re: Your MOST INFLUENTIAL Screen Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by MonL
    I was a very young kid then in 1968 when my elder brothers took me to Nation Cinerama Theatre in Cubao to watch the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was the height of the US-USSR Space Race (The Eagle won’t land yet on the moon until 1969), and anything that touched on the space travel genre then was red-hot. It was truly a work of cinematic art, with dazzling special effects that would be surpassed in quantity and innovation only by the next big sci-fi movie that would be shown a decade later, Star Wars. In fact, 2001 was the benchmark for cinematic special effects for the said genre.

    Some of the scenes were intensely detailed and psychedelic and remained vivid in my memory for years. Yet the only dialogue that I remember was that of the supercomputer Hal9000 pleading to astronaut David Bowman who was lobotomizing him:

    “Please stop, Dave. Stop, Dave. I’m…afraid.”

    I would only be able to obtain the DVD copy of it in 2003.

    However, events in the next 30-50 years would overtake this movie and render it as a futuristic prediction that was not fulfilled, with the supposed Jupiter Mission to have happened in 2001 and the return trip happening ten years later in the sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact, which was shown in the mid-1980s.

    The other legacy this movie left was its theme song, which was adopted later in other diverse fields as radio, advertising, pop music(Eumir Deodato’s version comes to mind), TV and other cinema genre (comedy, etc.), and is still in use today.

    This film by Kubrik was speculating on the possibility that a machine will leapfrog and try to gain humanity, feelings and all. The scene when Hal9000 pleaded for "life" can be compared to the part when the humanoids learned how to use a weapon for self defense and aggression. From bones used for war to orbital satellites in Kubriks vision. Reagan's "Star Wars Program" anyone? Well the militarization of Space is now complete and AI is part of the war in Afghanistan.

    Still, that realization of the humanoids together with the accompanying musical score made a huge impression on me. I watched this when I was young in a Betamax. No impact, just another sci-fi.

    It gave me a different perspective though when I watched it on DVD. Darn, so that's what this movie is all about. Wow!

    Tannnnn.....tannnnnn...tannnnnnn.... tannnnaaannnnn.... dum dum... dum dum... dum dum.

    Understand? / ¿Entiendes?

  2. #22

    Re: Your MOST INFLUENTIAL Screen Characters

    Ferris Beuller. He defined the preppy side of Generation X. ;D

    Understand? / ¿Entiendes?

  3. #23

    Re: Your MOST INFLUENTIAL Screen Characters

    ^^^ Danny, I'm torn between Ferris Bueller and Tom Cruise's character in "Risky Business"... ;D Those two characters practically defined the 80's generation.

  4. #24

    Re: Your MOST INFLUENTIAL Screen Characters

    How influential was the Michael Douglas character Gordon Gecko in the real Wall Street? I think every young and ambitious banker / stockbroker / corporate lawyer / con man of that era made Gecko their personal idol. Of course having the slicked back hair and the sharp Italian (or was it Savile Row) suits also influenced how corporate comers and up-and-comers of the age dressed. "Get yourself some new suits..." best advice Gecko gave in that movie, and it felt like he was speaking to the the world at large and not just to Charlie Sheen's character.

  5. #25

    Re: Your MOST INFLUENTIAL Screen Characters

    Did Rod Tidwell really steal the thunder from Jerry Maguire...?

  6. #26

  7. #27
    From Esquire ...

    Joker Explores Mental Illness and Abuse, Delusion and Violent Behavior

    The film is a condemnation of a system that reinforces and widens the divide between rich and poor, explaining but never exonerating the turn to anarchy.

    By Hugo Zacarias Yonzon IV | 3 days ago

    “Comedy,” the late, great George Carlin once told Larry King, “has traditionally picked on people in power, people who abuse that power.” Few people utilized comedy as effectively as a means of social commentary than Carlin, and he understood that for comedy to be truly meaningful, it needs to punch up, not down.

    Todd Phillips's impressive filmography, from Old School to the Hangover trilogy, is a testament to his mastery of comedy. He takes that sentiment and holds it up as a broken mirror against today’s broken society and punches all the way up in the decidedly un-comedic, cinematic tour de force Joker.

    Based on one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time, Joker reimagines the origin of the Batman’s archnemesis as a product of an increasingly hostile and alienating society where the divide between the rich and poor ever widens. Who needs a vat of toxic chemicals when the city has gotten so toxic, so oppressive it can break men to the point of criminal insanity? In some ways, the fears of Joker inciting or inspiring disaffected, angry white males to violence is valid and real. But Phillips adeptly and deliberately frames Joker’s turn to violence and crime not merely as a result of cruelty, bullying, and social inequity, but as the disproportionate response of a mentally unstable and dangerous man.

    Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck may be a white incel, but he’s so incredibly ill that he’s unfit to be emulated. Arthur is a middle-aged male who still lives with his mother and struggles to hold down his job as a clown in unforgiving Gotham City. Arthur is afflicted with Pseudobulbar Affect, which causes him to laugh involuntarily and uncontrollably, making it difficult for him to function normally. His bouts of laughter come at such inopportune times that they hamper even his work as a clown and aspiring stand-up comedian.

    The irony of a profoundly unhappy clown whose laughter unsettles rather than cheers is core to the film’s theme. When it comes to Joker, the mantra, “put on a happy face,” is less a positive philosophy than it is an insidious method to mask criminal activity, a means to hide the identity of rioters and anarchists.

    The iterations of the Joker, both on the comic page and onscreen, are schizophrenically diverse. The actors who have played the character have each brought his own interpretation of the clown prince of crime, adding even more facets to an already multi-faceted villain. Because the Joker is so complex, there is no definitive origin story or interpretation, with every version of the Joker just as valid as the next. Even Jared Leto’s much-maligned tattooed gangster from Suicide Squad added complexity to an endlessly chimeric figure. With Joker, Phoenix humanizes the villain in a way audiences have never seen before.

    Phoenix transformed his body into a disconcerting mass of tired skin and bones for the role, moving his oddly jointed limbs in almost alien movements. It’s an incredible and powerful performance, vacillating between hysteria and a feeling of emptiness and loneliness that barely conceals the incredible violence waiting to be unleashed upon the world.

    Joker and the Batman have always been opposite sides of the same coin, both products of a cruel, insensitive world that takes more than it gives. Bruce Wayne is born to privilege, orphaned by crime; Arthur is one of the faceless many who fall through the cracks, lonely even in the company of family, reliant on social services and welfare that can disappear at any moment.

    As Arthur meets with his social worker, a sign behind her says, “it’s okay to feel trapped,” a guileful establishment message disguised as a motivational quote. This is how Todd Phillips frames the story. The complacent, disconnected rich against the discontented masses, the forgotten poor. The establishment versus the rabble. Comedy picks on the people in power, except that Joker is anything but comedy.

    Joker explores mental illness and abuse, delusion and violent behavior. The Joker is a product of a broken system, where people feel disenfranchised and isolated. In one of the film’s turning points, three young Wall Street brokers pick on a dejected Arthur on the train, privilege and entitlement on display. It’s chillingly familiar because it’s all too common, and Arthur is the anti-establishment underdog audiences will want to root for. But Phillips cleverly derails audience sympathy as Arthur’s psychopathic behavior predictably turns increasingly darker until it reaches the point of no return.

    Highlighting contrasts between the haves and have nots is Robert De Niro’s Murray Franklin, Arthur’s rich and popular counterpart, a talk show host who ends each show with the fatalistic, “that’s life!” Murray has the kind of success Arthur aspires to achieve but is simply not equipped for. In fact, Arthur is hardly equipped for anything, a barely functioning member of society who’s invisible despite being in full makeup.

    Joker is an excellently crafted film. Lawrence Sher’s cinematography is intense and powerful, the neo-noir imagery haunting and lingers long after the credits roll. Sher is Phillips’ longtime collaborator, and the grit and grime of the Hangover films carry over here. Grating violin solos punctuate the film, complementing the deliberately claustrophobic production design based on vintage elements from the ’80s. Desaturated, grainy images play on CRT televisions, the Energizer bunny juxtaposed against the breaking news of chaos descending upon the city. Zorro the Gay Blade, which came out in 1981, plays in a cinema rather than the canonical Mark of Zorro.

    Joker is an homage to and modernization of Taxi Driver. De Niro’s casting as a talk show host is a form of passing the baton to Phoenix as an irredeemable, deranged Travis Bickle. Like Travis, Arthur also keeps a journal where he jots down his thoughts and comedic material, which are anything but funny. With lines like, “I hope my death makes more cents than my life,” Arthur’s nihilism is an updated contrast to Travis’ self-centeredness and conceit.

    This is a cautionary tale, albeit not without its flaws. Films are always important in context, and the increasing rise of real-life Travis Bickles in today’s world leaves Joker’s context open to criticism. But Phillips is careful to not romanticize the violence; as it escalates, it twists from being cathartic to deplorable.

    Joker is a condemnation of a system that reinforces and widens the divide between rich and poor, explaining but never exonerating the turn to anarchy. It is masterful, powerful, and in the context of today’s society where the people in power brazenly, unapologetically abuse their power, a tragedy—not comedy—that is arguably even necessary.

  8. #28
    From GQ online ...

    Every Keanu Reeves Movie, Ranked

    Swallow this red pill: the indisputable ranking of the actor’s extensive filmography.

    By Iana Murray

    July 17, 2019

    To call this era of peak Keanu saturation the Keanussaince would be a disservice to a decades-long career featuring quiet, powerhouse performances. To clarify: a lot of the films in this list are… not good, but even in the dredges of his filmography, Reeves remains committed to giving his everything. He’s also incredibly prolific, regularly churning out multiple films a year (to the detriment of this writer who had to watch them all).

    Reeves has captured audiences for so long because he’s a singular kind of movie star. He’s chameleonic, and yet, he’s always, firmly himself. His mode of acting is unlike anyone else—and it’s the reason why he is such a formidable force on screen. There are the instantly recognizable films are what launched him to stratospheric heights—testosterone-fueled action flicks like The Matrix and Speed—but the real gems in his repertoire are formed when he’s allowed to be sensitive, empathetic, wounded and open. This is Keanu Reeves’s world, and we’re just living in it.

    53. Replicas
    No one deserves to be subjected to this.

    52. Generation Um…
    A mumblecore wannabe with the astute observation that millennials are superficial—never heard that one before.

    51. The Night Before
    It’s fun to see Reeves play against type as a high school nerd who traverses Los Angeles to figure out what happened on a wild prom night, but its appalling use of racist stereotypes explains why this John Hughes-esque comedy has mostly been forgotten.

    50. The Watcher
    This thriller is one of the biggest misfires for Reeves, who gets a rare villain role as a sadistic serial killer, but it wasn’t a job he took willingly—he was reportedly forced to star in the film after a friend forged his signature on the contract.

    49. Little Buddha
    The abhorrent casting of Reeves as Buddha (complete with brownface and an Indian accent) makes Bernardo Bertolucci’s spiritual epic unbearable to watch.

    48. 47 Ronin
    Keanu Reeves loves a good martial arts movie (see: Man of Tai Chi), but this isn’t one of them.

    47. Exposed
    There are traces of what Exposed was envisioned to be: an intimate Dominican drama that confronts issues of police brutality and mass incarceration.But after aggressive studio interference (the film was refashioned into a by-the-numbers thriller with Reeves’s small role upgraded to a lead), director Gee Malik Linton sued to have his name removed.

    46. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
    Gus Van Sant’s follow-up to My Own Private Idaho is as big of a mess as Uma Thurman’s giant fake thumbs.

    45. Knock Knock
    At one point, Reeves exasperatedly yells “what the fuck?” to himself. Me too.

    44. The Replacements
    This sports comedy with a penchant for misogyny has not aged well.

    43. Johnny Mnemonic
    So quintessentially ‘90s in that no one understands how the Internet works.

    42. Feeling Minnesota
    With a little bit of True Romance, and a little bit of early Tarantino, this dark gangster romance is wholly derivative.

    41. Street Kings
    A thriller by David Ayer about corruption in the LAPD? Groundbreaking.

    40. Much Ado About Nothing
    Reeves is horrifically miscast in Kenneth Branagh’s dull Shakespeare adaptation.

    39. Flying
    There’s a scene in this gymnastics movie with the aesthetic of Jane Fonda’s workout videos in which a 21-year-old Keanu Reeves rap-sings and I screamed.

    38. The Last Time I Committed Suicide
    Reeves has a small role as the buddy to Beat Generation author and poet Neal Cassady, and that’s all I can tell you because I forgot this movie five minutes after I watched it.

    37. The Prince of Pennsylvania
    Reeves’s early career is largely defined by punky bad boy type roles that are indistinguishable from one another, with the exception of The Prince of Pennsylvania, in which he rocks the most outrageous do: flowing shoulder-length locks with one side shaved and dyed silver. SILVER.

    36. Chain Reaction
    Come for the impressive cast and intriguing premise, feel yourself wanting to quit, then end up staying for Rachel Weisz and Reeves acting like an old married couple.

    35. Siberia
    Just watch John Wick.

    34. Youngblood
    In this hockey comedy starring Rob Lowe, keep your eyes peeled for a baby-faced Keanu Reeves and his French-Canadian accent.

    33. Hardball
    Hardball is the other generic, but slightly better, sports comedy in Reeves’s oeuvre, but a lovely highlight is a pre-teen Michael B. Jordan.

    32. Sweet November
    This is a John Green novel before John Green novels existed.

    31. The Gift
    This supernatural thriller from Sam Raimi never quite takes off, but it’s always exciting to see Reeves explore new roles. Here, he’s an abusive husband accused of murder.

    30. To The Bone
    As a therapist helping a young woman suffering from anorexia, Reeves doesn’t have much to do and he’s done this role before in a better movie.

    29. The Bad Batch
    Reeves, sporting an impressive ‘70s stache, plays a charismatic cult leader called The Dream, and well, yeah, fair enough.

    28. The Neon Demon
    With the rare chance to be a massive sleaze, Reeves chews up every brief moment he has in Nicolas Winding Refn’s divisive take on the L.A. modelling scene.

    27. A Walk in the Clouds
    Strangers pretending to be married only to fall in love with each other is one of the dumbest romantic tropes. Inject it into my veins.

    26. The Day the Earth Stood Still
    Sure, this sci-fi remake has lived on in infamy, but no one can question the casting of Reeves as a mysterious extraterrestrial.

  9. #29
    ^ (Continued from above)

    25. The Lake House
    Try not to question the logic of this high concept romance which reunites Reeves with his Speed co-star Sandra Bullock.

    24. The Whole Truth
    It’s pretty admirable that a film that takes place almost entirely in a courtroom doesn’t get boring.

    23. Henry’s Crime
    Mmm, yes Keanu, read Chekhov to me.

    22. I Love You to Death
    In what is perhaps the perfect antithesis to John Wick, Reeves plays a stoner hitman too incompetent to complete the job in Lawrence Kasdan’s slapstick farce.

    21. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
    Francis Ford Coppola’s period horror is infamous for Reeves’s British accent (which is really not as bad as everyone makes it out to be), but it gets bonus points for technically being Reeves and Winona Ryder’s wedding video.

    20. The Devil’s Advocate
    Al Pacino is Satan—what else is there to say?

    19. Dangerous Liaisons
    To fit in alongside such powerhouses as Glenn Close and John Malkovich is an unenviable task, and yet Reeves’s vulnerability makes him a great dupe in the power struggle between scheming aristocrats.

    18. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
    It’s a crime that Reeves hasn’t played more romantic leads, and Reeves is on top heartthrob form as a cashier who woos over Robin Wright.

    17. Destination Wedding
    This romantic comedy with a sardonic edge received most of its press off that aforementioned wedding rumor, but it’s a joy to watch Reeves and Winona Ryder as a pair of ill-mannered cynics bicker for 90 minutes.

    16. Thumbsucker
    In Mike Mills’s debut feature, Reeves pairs wisdom with his calming presence as an orthodontist guiding a teen suffering from the titular habit, topping a hopeful monologue with the ad-libbed cherry: “The trick is living without an answer...I think.”

    15. Toy Story 4
    Who other than the world’s greatest Canadian could provide the voice for Canada’s greatest stuntman?

    14. Point Break
    Johnny Utah: he fights crime and surfs with Patrick Swayze—usually with homoerotic undertones.

    13. River’s Edge
    A disturbing account of troubled youth, River’s Edge shocked and disturbed audiences back in 1987, while Reeves, in his first major role, showcases a terrifying amorality that has become a rarity in his lengthy career.

    12. Something’s Gotta Give
    Contrary to popular belief, Something’s Gotta Give is, in fact, a horror and not a romantic comedy, which is the only reason I can think of to explain why Diane Keaton leaves hot doctor Keanu Reeves for Jack Nicholson.

    11. Permanent Record
    Like River’s Edge, Permanent Record is a glimmering exception in the actor’s career—he pulls off an understated but emotional performance as a teen grappling with the death of his best friend.

    10. Always Be My Maybe
    Always Be My Maybe, the Netflix romantic comedy the Internet conjured into existence, presents us with a nightmarish vision: Keanu Reeves is an asshole. The actor’s 15-minute cameo as a heightened version of himself is so memorable and hilarious because it toys with our perception of who the actor is—wholesome and pure, but totally unknowable. Most importantly, his appearance in a film with an all Asian-American cast means that Reeves is able to reclaim his own Asian-American identity.

    9. Man of Tai Chi
    Man of Tai Chi is the first, and so far, only film Reeves has directed—which is a shame because it’s batshit crazy. A megalomaniacal millionnaire (played by Reeves) enlists a fighter skilled in Tai Chi for an underground fighting operation. Reeves has a great respect for martial arts movies—beautifully choreographed sequences filmed in long takes, with authentic representations of the many fighting styles it features. He lets the action (of which there is many) speak for itself.

    8. Constantine
    The failed DC comic book adaptation starring Reeves as a demon-slaying detective is in dire need of a critical reassessment. Sure, it’s heavy CGI hasn’t aged well, and it isn’t exactly faithful to the source material—but it stands as one of the most trenchant explorations of loneliness in the actor’s career. As he wanders through the blazing wasteland of hell, he almost seems at peace, as if he’s content with his fate.

    7. Parenthood
    Underneath Ron Howard’s ensemble comedy is a subtle depiction of masculinity. Tod (played by Reeves) is an airhead with seemingly zero ambition, but he defies expectations with his resolute kindness and dedication to his girlfriend and her family. Seeing himself as something of a father figure to the youngest son of the family, he knows all too well what an abusive patriarch can do to a boy: “You need a licence to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a licence to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father,” he says, before reverting back to dumbass mode.

    6. Speed
    There’s an uncanny quality to Keanu Reeves. The way his body moves, the cadences in his voice, suggest someone who isn’t completely comfortable in their skin. His character in Speed, however, doesn’t exhibit these behaviours. Jack Traven is the everyman. Thankfully, Speed is silly enough for Reeves, who has never been particularly suited to playing regular people. Nothing brings communities together like a bus jumping over a 50-foot gap in the highway.

    5. John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
    Hell hath no fury like a Keanu scorned. The story of a retired hitman who does the absolute most to avenge his murdered canine resonated with many. The first John Wick—directed by Reeves’s stuntmen from The Matrix—was a surprise hit, spawned two sequels and a future TV show, and relaunched Reeves as an action star. In the words of our beloved Baba Yaga: Yeah, I think he’s back.

    4. A Scanner Darkly
    The future depicted in Richard Linklater’s Phillip K. Dick adaptation doesn’t look so far removed from today. The war on drugs has been lost, an undercover agent (Reeves) infiltrates a community of addicts hooked on the hallucinatory drug Substance D, only to lose his identity as he becomes addicted himself. Reeves is devastating—aided by the rotoscoped animation, he drifts through the frame like a breeze, while his descent into a psychological prison infects the film’s mutable aesthetic. It’s intensely hypnotic, almost addictive.

    3. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
    Bill S. Preston Esq. and his best bro Ted “Theodore” are two idiots with hearts of gold, and their most excellent adventures through time, the afterlife and hell itself have cemented the two films as cult classics. Reeves has since progressed into darker, more serious films, but Ted has, and will always be, one of his defining characters. That isn’t to say it’s a role he wants to shake off;a third film, Bill and Ted Face the Music, is on the way. Woah, dude.

    2. The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions
    When we think of Keanu Reeves, we think of Neo. As the Chosen One fated to wake the world up from simulated slavery, Neo was born great, achieves greatness and has greatness thrust upon him. The Matrix is a revolutionary film in many ways,and though its sequels don’t have the same glowing reputation,its shockwaves have been felt through sci-fi and action films ever since.

    1. My Own Private Idaho
    The restrained performances that make the bulk of Reeves’s career are frequently mischaracterized as wooden or lifeless. But this is all part of the allure—he’s impossible to judge, a puzzle made to decipher. With Gus Van Sant’s bleak and beautiful My Own Private Idaho, Reeves is at the height of his powers as Scott, the unattainable heir that River Phoenix’s narcoleptic hustler Mike desires. Scott is impenetrable, all the more enticing as we try to unravel his motives. We hope that Scott returns Mike’s love, and sometimes Reeves makes us believe so until we’re blindsided. It’s utterly heartbreaking.

  10. #30
    JOKER: Actor and Director Take on Public Safety

    By: Associated Press - @inquirerdotnet

    AP / 07:32 AM October 02, 2019

    There may be no such thing as bad publicity, but the spotlight on “Joker” is testing the limits of that old cliche.

    The origin story about the classic Batman villain has inspired pieces both in defense of and against the movie.

    It’s been hailed as the thing that’s going to finally get Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar and also decried for being “dangerous,” ”irresponsible” and even “incel-friendly.”

    Last week, some parents of victims of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting even wrote to the Warner Bros. CEO asking for support for anti-gun causes.

    The studio issued a statement in response saying that the film is not “an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind.”

    In his 80 years as part of the culture, the Joker has always had a way of getting under people’s skin whether it’s because of who the character appeals to, what he represents or even the stories actors tell about how they got into character.

    But perhaps the biggest irony of all this time around is that for all the discourse and hand-wringing, the film has yet to even open in theaters.

    That doesn’t happen until Thursday night.

    It’s made for a complicated release for the high-profile film, which got off to a triumphant start premiering at and then winning the top award from the Venice Film Festival.

    And while reviews are mostly positive, it’s also been heavily scrutinized and put the filmmakers on the defensive.

    Director and co-writer Todd Phillips doesn’t mind the discussion.

    “I’ll talk about it all day,” he said.

    “I’m not shy about it.”

    He just wishes people would see the movie before drawing conclusions.

    “It’s a little troubling when people write think pieces without having seen it.

    And even in their think pieces write, ‘I don’t need to see it know what it is.’

    I find it astounding, to be quite frank, how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda,” Phillips said.

    “To that point, I’ve been disappointed.”

    The pre-emptive backlash is all the more baffling to Phillips because he hopes it inspires conversations: About guns, about violence and about the treatment of people with mental illness.

    “Part of the reason we made the movie is a response to the comic book world of movies,” Phillips said.

    “Like, ‘Why is this celebrated? Why is this funny? Why is this fun? What are the real-world implications of violence?'”

    The film itself is a slow-burn character study of how a mentally-ill, middle-aged man named Arthur Fleck becomes the Joker.

    When the audience drops in on his life, he’s working as a clown-for-hire, living with his mother in a run-down Gotham apartment and checking in occasionally with a social worker.

    He has a card that he gives to people to explain that his spontaneous and painful bursts of laughter are because of a medical condition.

    His only joy seems to be watching the talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) in the evenings.

    “The truth is you see it and it’s heartbreaking. And he’s heartbreaking,” Phillips said.

    “And you know what happens in the movies when you have a world that lacks empathy and lacks love? You get the villain you deserve.”

    It’s a role that has often required actors to go to difficult places, and “Joker” has the added complication of being more realistic than most of the other depictions even though it’s still set in a fictional world.

    To play Arthur and Joker, Phoenix researched a number of people that he’s reluctant to even name.

    “Some of the people I studied, I feel what they crave are attention and notoriety,” he said.

    “I don’t feel like they deserve any more of that.”

    He also underwent a drastic physical transformation, losing 52 pounds on an extremely calorie-restricted diet with the supervision of a doctor.

    He expected “feelings of dissatisfaction, hunger, a certain kind of vulnerability and weakness.”

    Instead, he found the emaciation led to a physical “fluidity” that he didn’t quite anticipate.

    The set was also fairly fluid in a way, and Phoenix said he and Phillips were constantly discovering new elements to Joker and Arthur.

    “There seemed to be an infinite number of ways to interpret every moment or how he might behave at any moment. And there wasn’t anything that didn’t make sense.

    So we would do scenes so many different ways and some I would cry and others I would make jokes and others I would be angry and it would be the same scene and they all (expletive) made sense,” he said.

    It made the experience constantly “exciting” and “surprising,” but portraying Arthur/Joker also proved to be “messy and uncomfortable” for the 44-year-old actor.

    As for whether or not audiences will use the character as an inspiration or excuse to act out, Phoenix thinks that the onus is on the individual.

    “I do think that the audience should be challenged and they should be able to know the difference between right and wrong. I don’t think it’s the filmmaker’s responsibility to teach morality,” Phoenix said.

    “If you don’t know the difference between right and wrong, then there are all sorts of things that you are going to interpret in the way that you want.”

    Both he and Phillips make sure to stress that “Joker,” which is rated R, is not a kids’ movie.

    It also won’t be for everyone.

    “I just hope people see it and take it as a movie,” Phillips said.

    “Do I hope everyone loves it? No. We didn’t make the movie for everyone. Anytime anyone tries to make a movie for everyone it’s usually for nobody…You have a choice. Don’t see it is the other choice. It’s ok.”

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