Joaquin Phoenix might have taken home the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor, but the biggest moment of the show as him paying tribute to Heath Ledger during his acceptance speech. Fans all over are absolutely loving this moment where the Joker star said, “I’m standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor Heath Ledger.” It was powerful and well-received in the room at the time, but online people are just loving how well this whole thing fits together. There is a strong case to be made that without that dramatic version of The Joker in The Dark Knight, the idea of Joker might never see the light of day. In fact, the idea of having to follow that act has dogged so many of the actors that have been placed in a position to follow Ledger afterward. It’s just great to see and people can’t get enough.
With so many pieces and interviews hinging on the dark nature of Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck, the star tried to point to the more round version of the man in his head during the Venice Film Festival. He told the press that that isn’t even how he conceives of the main character.
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) January 20, 2020
“I guess I was interested, actually, in the light of Arthur, for lack of a better word,” Phoenix told the press. “It wasn’t just the torment, it was kind of like the joy, it was his struggle to find happiness and to feel connected and to feel warmth and love. That’s the part of the character that I was interested in and I think was worth kind of exploring. I don’t think of a character as tormented. I don’t ever kind of define characters in that way. It’s only when I come to do press that I get asked these questions, but I never think of it that way.”
Before the movie came out, The Dark Knight star Christian Bale said that he found Phoenix taking on the challenge of following Ledger brave. “Joaquin is one of the best actors around, you know, and obviously I worked with Heath,” Bale began. “You know, it’s a brave thing to follow up that performance and he always makes interesting choices.”
Check out the best responses below:
Congrats Joaquin Phoenix 🙌
Great speech. He made it about each of his fellow nominees.
To Christian Bale: You never turn in a bad performance, it’s infuriating. I wish you would suck just once.
“I’m standing on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger.” pic.twitter.com/2CShbuS3F2
— Dani. Perched, and sat, and nothing more. (@dan_dresdner) January 20, 2020