Joaquin Phoenix had one rule for the cast and crew of Joker. The actor has been praised for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in the dark movie. While a lot of what Phoenix does on a movie set may come off as unorthodox, he is just into getting the performance right, which may come off as being rude at times. He lost 50 pounds for the role, which was something he was not initially into doing and stormed off the set a few times, only to later return and nail a scene. He apparently also got into an argument with Robert De Niro about acting.
As for what that one rule on the set of Joker was, it's pretty simple and one most people try to live by in daily life. Josh Pais, who plays Arthur Fleck's boss in the movie, recently spoke about working with Joaquin Phoenix and his one rule on the set, along with his talents as an actor. Before getting the role, Pais had a meeting with director Todd Phillips, who laid down the ground rules. He explains.
"I had a meeting with Todd. He said, 'I loved your tape. I just want to make sure that you're not an asshole because one person on set can really ruin the whole vibe of the thing.' Joaquin told Todd, 'I don't care who you cast, just make sure everybody is a really good actor - and no assholes.' So, I guess I passed the test."
No jerks on the set of a movie should be a given, but that's not always the way it works in life. Plus, some may have taken Joaquin Phoenix's behavior on the Joker set as going against his one rule. Josh Pais does not thinks so and praises the actor for his ability to help create a focused set. Pais had this to say about working with Phoenix.
"I worked three days. The level of concentration, the level that we all knew Joaquin was going to bring to this created such a focused set. I felt like I had to bring my A-game, and everybody on the crew felt the same. There was very little extraneous work going on. Very often between a take, the sandwiches come out, and everybody starts chit-chatting. And then, X amount of time tends to happen before it's like, 'Oh wait, let's get back to shooting.' That was not happening on this. It was extremely focused, and it was a high level of concentration... Everybody was bringing it."
The level of focus helped the Joker production run like a well-oiled machine, which involved Todd Phillips conducting reshoots as principal photography was still rolling. Reshoots were not a luxury that they had, so Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix would conduct rewrites as they were shooting, which ended up making some extra work in a day, but kept everything moving to completion. The end result does not show any signs of a rush job and comes off as focused.
When they were done, Joaquin Phoenix had to get back to eating normal food and Todd Phillips took Joker into the post-production phase. Now that the movie is in theaters and the controversy is dying down, many are looking at the box office numbers and predicting it will cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office. It looks like Phoenix's one rule on the set paid off in a major way, though some comic book fans may believe Mark Marin was the exception. You can read the rest of the interview with Josh Pais over at The Hollywood Reporter.