Joaquin Phoenix hails from a selected period and technology, each in Hollywood and the bigger American tradition it exists in. Rising up and coming of age amongst “Technology X” expertise within the 1990s, Phoenix was after all brother to the nice River Phoenix, who handed away far too quickly, and buddies and friends with a lot of the opposite up-and-coming expertise of that point: actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and Heath Ledger. Final evening, Joaquin Phoenix paid tribute to all three’s presence, a technique or one other, when he received the Display screen Actors Guild award for Finest Actor because of his eerie flip in Joker.
Taking to the stage after beating DiCaprio and Bale (in addition to Adam Driver and Taron Egerton), Phoenix tipped his hat to all of his fellow nominees, providing a humorous anecdote about his reminiscence of shedding many roles to DiCapiro after they have been each developing as youngsters, in addition to at all times being in awe of Bale’s dedication and work ethic. But, with a little bit of melancholy, Phoenix additionally acknowledged Bale’s co-star in The Darkish Knight: Heath Ledger, who in his closing absolutely accomplished function famously portrayed the Joker 11 years earlier than Phoenix took a crack on the clown.
Stated Phoenix, “And actually, I’m standing right here on the shoulders of my favourite actor, Heath Ledger.”
Earlier than Phoenix turned the heavy odds-on-favorite to win the Finest Actor Oscar, Ledger picked up all the identical awards in 2009. His legendary flip because the Joker, which in its means was way more malevolent and gleeful than Phoenix’s reasonably tragic interpretation, earned the late Australian actor the Golden Globe, SAG, and Oscar for Finest Supporting Actor. Sadly, nevertheless, he didn’t reside to see any of these accolades and even the completed movie, as Ledger handed away in January 2008 because of an unintentional overdose of prescribed drugs. He was solely 28.
Phoenix himself was buddies with Ledger, each arriving in Hollywood across the identical period, with Ledger being 5 years youthful than Phoenix. So it’s a touching tribute and additional reminder of Ledger’s personal legacy with the Joker character, and the lack of expertise and heat that got here with it.
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David Crow is the Movie Part Editor at Den of Geek. He’s additionally a member of the On-line Movie Critics Society. Learn extra of his work right here. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @DCrowsNest.