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    17 "Joker" Behind-The-Scenes Facts That Are Fascinating And Impressive

    Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir also did the music for HBO's Chernobyl!

    🤡 Warning: mild spoilers ahead. 🤡

    1. For Joker, Joaquin Phoenix went on an extreme diet and lost 52 pounds.

    Warner Bros.

    According to Vanity Fair, he worked with the same doctor who helped him lose weight for The Master, and after filming gained back 25.

    2. And the role of Arthur Fleck was conceived with Phoenix in mind.

    3. However, Phoenix said that he did not refer to any past iterations of the character when developing his role.

    Warner Bros., ABC

    He explained at the Venice Film Festival press conference, "It was just something that felt like our creation, and that's what was really important for me."

    4. When preparing for the role, Phoenix studied the movements of iconic silent film stars like Buster Keaton and Ray Bolger.

    MGM, Warner Bros.

    He also took inspiration from the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

    5. It's pretty blatant, but a lot of late '70s and early '80s "character study" films served as major influences on the film and you can see many visual similarities.

    Phillips referred to films like Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, Serpico, Raging Bull, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Venice Film Festival as particular influences.

    6. The film's storyline, following a failed stand-up comedian, came from the famous Batman: The Killing Joke graphic novel.

    DC Comics

    The Killing Joke is often considered to be the definitive Batman vs. Joker story and one of the most popular graphic novels ever.

    7. And the silent film The Man Who Laughs was also another major influence on the movie.

    Universal Pictures

    Co-writer Scott Silver referenced the 1928 film a lot early on in the process.

    8. Arthur's clown makeup was purposefully made to look "antique" — his lips were made a reddish-brown to resemble blood.

    9. The script often changed on the day, before shooting, and the actors would have to adapt — which they did really well — and even improvise their characters' dialogue.

    Warner Bros.

    According to director Todd Phillips, Zazie Beets' character Sophie got the most "messed" with between writing and actually shooting. He complimented Beets saying she was amazing and "so down for that kind of improvisation, it never phased her, she was enthusiastic about the changes, she helped with dialogue for her character, it was a beautiful collaboration."

    10. Before filming, Phillips told Phoenix that he envisioned Joker's laughter as something that's almost painful.

    Warner Bros.

    Phoenix would practice many different kinds of laughs and "audition" them for Phillips at his own request.

    11. There are at least three different laughs the Joker does: the "affliction" laugh, the "one of the guys" laugh, and then the "authentic joy" laugh at the end.

    Warner Bros.

    Creepy AF.

    12. Although Robert DeNiro is Phoenix's favorite American actor, the two hardly talked on set.

    Warner Bros.

    Part of this was due to their similar acting methods.

    13. In fact, there was a little awkward tension between the two because DeNiro insisted the cast do a read-through before filming his scenes, while Phoenix did not want to do any read-throughs.

    14. Phillips actually asked composer Hildur Guðnadóttir to start writing music off the script, which is not normally done in movies.

    Jc Olivera / WireImage

    Fun fact: Guðnadóttir also did the music for HBO's Chernobyl!

    15. And Guðnadóttir's music was often played on set to help set the mood.

    16. In fact, her music basically changed the bathroom dancing scene from how it was written in the script.

    Warner Bros.

    In the script, Arthur simply runs into the bathroom, hides the gun, and washes his face. Phillips played Guðnadóttir's music while they were shooting and Phoenix just started doing the dancing movements and they kept it.

    17. Although many past actors went to dark places IRL to play the role of the Joker, Phoenix says he didn't have that experience.

    Warner Bros.

    "I didn't struggle, it was enjoyable, it was fulfilling," he said.