Joaquin Phoenix was afraid to play the Joker

Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker. (Screengrab: YouTube)
Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker. (Screengrab: YouTube)

Cape Town - Joaquin Phoenix was initially scared of taking on the role of the iconic Batman villain, the Joker.

The three-time Academy-award nominee plays the titular character in the origin story directed by Todd Philipps.

The first original standalone centres on Arthur Fleck, a comedian who turns to a life of crime in Gotham City reports Digital Spy.

In an interview with Total Film Joaquin revealed that he was afraid to commit to taking on the role which was also made famous by Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and more recently Jared Leto.

Speaking to the publication, he said: "There was a lot of fear, yeah. But I always say there's motivating fear and debilitating fear. There's the fear where you cannot make a fucking step, and there's the kind where it's like, 'OK, what do we do?"

Another reason he was apprehensive is that characters like the Joker, often get simplified, making audiences distant from the character.

"Just like we would do in real life, where it's easy to label somebody as evil, and therefore say, 'Well, I'm not that,' said Joaquin.

Joker will premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday, 31 August.

It will be released in cinemas on Friday, 4 October.


Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht. (Sources: Digital Spy, Total Film, Cover Media)