‘Joker’ was the result of the work of many. The creative ideas were played out perfectly by Joaquin Phoenix after thorough discussions with the director. But even on the set, he did things that were never planned out or scripted – he climbed and sit in a fridge.
There were many moments of impact in the show, such as the dance after he killed the drunkards and the dance on the stairs as if he finally freed himself. Another was a weird behavior of insomniac Arthur Fleck who cleared out his fridge before climbing in and sitting inside. The camera pans out slowly, showing Arthur sitting there for quite a while.
Cinematographer Lawrence Share shared that the crew were confused, albeit quietly waits for Fleck to finish his acts while speaking to /Film. Sher said, “While some scenes were very planned out, like when he’s in the phonebooth or walking up the stairs, others had no plan at all.”
“When he climbed in the refrigerator, we had no idea he was going to do that. We set up two camera positions, and Joaquin just thought about what he would do if he was a massive insomniac. Again, we lit it so he could go anywhere, and the first and only time he did it, we were mesmerized. I remember thinking, ‘What is he doing? Did he just crawl in the fridge?’ It was as fun and weird for us to watch it, too.”
Another was the infamous dance of the first murder Arthur did. The script had Arthur speaking in disbelief to what he has done to the mirror, but he improvised then and there, dancing without music or voice. Sher said, “Joaquin created that whole dance and, after the success of that scene, we started creating more moments like that.”
“Like when he’s playing with the gun and fires it into the wall. All we knew was that he’d fire the gun into the wall at some point, but we never planned when or knew that he’d stand and have that conversation with himself and begin dancing.”
His improvisations and amazing performance have shot his name up as an Oscar nominee in Best Actor for 2020. The movie is still playing in theaters and so far has grossed more than $256 million for domestic and $747 million worldwide.