Some actors don’t shy away from altering their bodies for a role when it’s needed. Joaquin Phoenix is one of those that hasn’t been timid when dropping or gaining weight since for Joker he dropped quite a bit of weight to attain his bony appearance. He’s changed his look yet again for the movie Disappointment Blvd., but there have been other times when he’s had to change his look for a role. The manner in which he does this isn’t always the weight that’s lost, however, but the actual look and persona that he takes on. It’s funny to say this, but a person can maintain their same weight and body shape and still look completely different by taking on a different mindset and slightly altered appearance, and Phoenix has figured out how to do this over the years with great efficiency. Watching him take on one role after another is impressive but it’s been kind of creepy at times too since it makes a person wonder if actors undergo therapy as a rule just to avoid losing themselves.
Here are a few of the best transformations of Joaquin Phoenix.
5. Theodore – Her
Some people thought this was a touching movie and others thought it was kind of weird to watch the story of a person that had fallen in love with an AI program. Ted was a massive introvert that had lost his wife and refused to sign the divorce papers until later in the movie, and eventually developed a bit of jealousy upon learning that the AI, Samantha, had found others to talk to and loved them as well. This is the kind of story that can’t help but make some people feel sorry for a guy like Ted, while others might just think he’s a bit odd since there’s not quite as much give and take with an AI as there is a human.
4. Jimmy Emmett – To Die For
Jimmy was one of the more hopeless cases that are easily manipulated into just about anything since he doesn’t really have a lot going on in his life. Even after the plan within the movie starts to unravel he’s hopelessly stuck on Suzanne, even though he’s just a means to an end. The fact that she managed to seduce and use him so easily tends to mean that Jimmy didn’t really have a great deal of self-respect, which is pretty easy to see. A lot of us might have met someone like Jimmy in school at one time, and these days it’s no different, only now it would be likely to see someone trying to motivate Jimmy instead of seducing him.
3. Commodus – Gladiator
It was very easy to hate Commodus from the first scene he was in to the last. Even his quieter and more reserved moments were filled with the unrelenting bile that was waiting to be spewed by this character, as Phoenix made him so detestable that it was easy to think that he had to shake it out and shake it off after every take. It’s very likely that plenty of people would make a great number of excuses for Commodus’ behavior, especially since from a historical standpoint this movie was horribly inaccurate. It was still a fun and very powerful movie, especially given that Commodus knew he was inferior but tried to mask this through his own type of bravery.
2. Johnny Cash – Walk the Line
The fact that Phoenix did his own singing in this movie is impressive. Johnny Cash fans were quick to point out that the movie was, as expected, not quite as accurate as it needed to be, but biopics are notorious for not following the source material that closely, especially since they tend to be more for entertainment than to actually teach the people what these people were really like. One has to wonder how many long-time Johnny Cash fans were shaking their heads while watching this in the theater. To his credit though, Phoenix did a pretty good job in the role, though some moments could have been reworked.
1. Arthur Fleck – Joker
This was perhaps one of the most disturbing performances and yet it was hailed as good enough to win Phoenix a major award since let’s be honest, things have been kooky for a while now, and they don’t appear to be getting any better. But getting back to the point, his descent into madness as Arthur Fleck was haunting in a very noticeable way. The audience was given another view of an iconic villain that had little to no real control over how his life turned out, meaning that it essentially turned the Joker into a victim who would become the aggressor. It was an odd movie to be certain, but the best news right now is that the sequel might not be happening.
He’s an artist, that’s for certain.the sequel
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