I Don't Buy It: Was Joaquin Phoenix Joking in That "Joker" Outtake?

I have no idea.

During Joaquin Phoenix's recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote his upcoming Joker movie, Kimmel played an "outtake" from the film wherein Joaquin Phoenix went off on a cinematographer named Larry for whispering.

Watch the clip, and Joaquin Phoenix's seemingly mortified reaction. Then ask yourself: Is Joaquin Phoenix joking?

Joaquin Phoenix on Playing Joker + Exclusive Outtake www.youtube.com

I've watched it five times now, and I honestly have no idea. Joaquin Phoenix is a really great actor and, as proven by his press junket for I'm Still Here, he's been known to stretch the boundaries between fiction and reality. Remember I'm Still Here? As in the 2010 mockumentary directed by Casey Affleck as he "follows Joaquin Phoenix as he carries out a plan to retire from acting and concentrate on a new career as a hip-hop musician?" Did I imagine that whole campaign of amazing insanity? Both Affleck and Phoenix promoted the hoax film in the press with deadpan sincerity. At one point in I'm Still Here, Phoenix has a brilliant, fake breakdown after guest-starring on David Letterman. Do we remember this? Joaquin Phoenix f*cking loves fake-out breakdowns.

I'm Still Here (10/12) Movie CLIP - Post-Letterman Breakdown (2010) HD youtu.be

As such, if an actor was going to stage a fake on-set freakout and then engineer a scenario wherein he gets exposed on live television, that actor would almost definitely be Joaquin Phoenix. It's also kind of in-line with the entire concept behind Joker, right?

But on the other hand, Joaquin Phoenix also seems like the kind of guy who would legitimately freakout at a cinematographer for whispering on set. His embarrassment seems pretty genuine, too. But also, he's a very good actor, so he might just be acting. I really just don't know.

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