There have been questions that movies which portray villains as the main character, delving deep into their broken minds, might ignite the deep side of many who watch it. But it wasn’t until a reporter asked Phoenix on the impact of the movie ‘Joker’ towards those who might suffer the same thing Arthur Fleck does from society.
But after that, actor Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips have returned prepared and not just that, they have also been observing the direction of the conversation that is taking place since the interview on the movie that has been predicted to hit $82 million in first weekend.
In their interview with IGN, Phillips began, “I really think there have been a lot of think pieces written by people who proudly state they haven’t even seen the movie and they don’t need to. I would just argue that you might want to watch the movie, you might want to watch it with an open mind.”
“It’s so, to me, bizarre when people say, ‘Oh, well I could handle it. But imagine if you can’t.’ It’s making judgments for other people and I don’t even want to bring up the movies in the past that they’ve said this about because it’s shocking and embarrassing when you go, oh my God, ‘Do the Right Thing’, they said that about [that movie, too].”
Phoenix commented and responded, this time, properly to the question he couldn’t before.
“The truth is you don’t know what is going to be the fuel for somebody. And it might very well be your question. It might be this moment, right? But you can’t function in life saying, ‘Well, I can’t ask that question for the small chance that somebody might be affected by [it].’ I wouldn’t ask you to do that.
It’s uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable for all of us. I think we all are aware of these issues and we’re concerned, and I think that’s why we talk about it. I don’t think that we can be afraid to talk about it. So I understand why you asked that question. But I think the same way that you feel that you need to ask that question and engage in the conversation this way, I think that’s how I feel like an actor. And that’s all I have to say.”
Warner Bros. has also released a statement, explaining that the movie is not to frame Joker as a hero. They have also distanced themselves from lawmakers that are against gun reform but has not mentioned that they’ll stop supporting them.
“Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies. Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic.
At the same time, Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues. Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”