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Watch Joaquin Phoenix Do a Creepy Dance in ‘Joker’


In “Anatomy of a Scene,” we ask directors to reveal the secrets that go into making key scenes in their movies. See new episodes in the series each Friday. You can also watch our collection of more than 150 videos on YouTube and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


A run-down bathroom with a flickering fluorescent light, a swooning piece of music and some slow, deliberate moves. Those spare ingredients go into crafting this downbeat but memorable moment from “Joker.”

When the scene begins, Arthur Fleck (a.k.a. the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix) has just had an intense, life-defining moment and finds a bathroom to collect and calm himself. He does so with a dance that the director Todd Phillips said Phoenix came up with on the day of the shoot. In his narration, Phillips discusses the music (by Hildur Gudnadottir), and how he and Phoenix came to change the scene from what was in the script.


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