Joaquin Phoenix is a master when it comes to disappearing into a role using all of his talents, but it goes without saying that his body transformations have proven to be limitless. In his new project, Disappointment Blvd., he has, again, become someone anew. Sporting a belly that would give Mark Wahlberg some competition and wispy gray hair, he can be seen shooting his new project on the streets on Montreal.
Just three years ago, he famously dropped 52 pounds to achieve the wiry physique for Joker. Joaquin Phoenix explains of the experience saying,"Once you reach the target weight, everything changes. Like so much of what's difficult is waking up every day and being obsessed over like 0.3 pounds. Right? And you really develop like a disorder. I mean, it's wild. But I think the interesting thing for me is what I had expected and anticipated with the weight loss was these feelings of dissatisfaction, hunger, a certain kind of vulnerability and a weakness. But what I didn't anticipate was this feeling of kind of fluidity that I felt physically. I felt like I could move my body in ways that I hadn't been able to before. And I think that really lent itself to some of the physical movement that started to emerge as an important part of the character."
He did confess that the extreme weight loss took a toll on his mental health, saying: 'As it turns out, that impacts your psychology, and you really start to go mad when you lose that much weight in that amount of time.'
As for Disappointment Blvd.,the details are being kept under wraps. The plot is described as "an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time." Presently cast along with Phoenix are Broadway stars Nathan Lane and Patti LuPone along with Oscar nominee Amy Ryan, Zoe Lister-Jones, Parker Posey, Michael Gandolfini, Denis Ménochet, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Kylie Rogers. The film is written and directed by the celebrated horror-master Ari Aster. When asked about his new project he hinted with a smattering of information about Disappointment Blvd., calling it a "nightmare comedy," and adding: "All I know is that it's gonna be four hours long..."
Ari Aster made his feature film directorial debut with production company A24 with the horror-drama film Hereditary in 2018. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne as a family haunted by a mysterious presence after the death of their secretive grandmother. Hereditary was applauded by critics and was a also a commercial success, making over $79 million on a $10 million budget.
Aster's next production, also with A24, was the folk horror film Midsommar, starring Florence Pugh. It follows a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival that occurs once every 90 years and find themselves in the clutches of a pagan cult. He teamed up with A24 again for its 2019 release. For his work on the film, Aster received a nomination for Best Screenplay at the 29th Gotham Independent Film Awards. A24 is sticking with their golden goose this round, as well. No release date yet.