Saturday night’s premiere of the new Joker film, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, brought out the stars and stunners in Los Angeles. There was the leading man himself, looking dapper, though his fiancee Rooney Mara stole a little of his limelight in a cute black midriff top and skirt and Alice headband. Her oufit was her own brand, Hiraeth, which prides itself on being completely free of animal products.
Then there was Lisa Bonet in a long white floral gown, with partner Jason Momoa, whose purple suit and sneakers look was part Saturday Night Fever, part The Big Lebowski.
The film’s female stars shone, with US-German actor Zazie Beetz glowing in a dress that was an unusual but fetching combination of lace and sparkles.
To be honest, we’re not sure who Emily Li is, but she looked amazing in a blood red sequins and chiffon minidress with matching collar and lips.
US singer Loren Gray also looked pretty dreamy in a silver jumpsuit with high leg slits.
Joker, the film, famously earned Joaquin Phoenix an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival at the end of August.
Critics so far have responded rapturously to his performance and to the film, directed by Todd Phillips.
“Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself,” wrote Terri White in Empire.
“Joaquin Phoenix is devastating as the villain-in-the-making in this incendiary tale of psychological escape and psychopathy,” wrote Phil de Semlyen in TimeOut.
“It’s a very good movie, and it features a blood-curdling performance from Joaquin Phoenix, in the most frightening portrayal of a violent maniac in decades,” wrote Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle.
While praise has been almost unanimous for Phoenix’s acting, his on-set antics, by all accounts, leave a little to be desired.
According to IndieWire, Joker co-writer and director Todd Phillips revealed in a New York Times interview that his leading actor “lost his composure on the set, sometimes to the bafflement of his co-stars.”
“In the middle of the scene, he’ll just walk away and walk out,” Phillips said. “And the poor other actor thinks it’s them and it was never them — it was always him, and he just wasn’t feeling it.”
One person Phoenix never walked out on was co-star Robert De Niro — perhaps he was the only actor Phoenix knew would not put up with any kind of BS? For his part, though, having played the likes of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and Max Cady in Cape Fear, De Niro can empathise with having to get into the head of a psychopath.
“Joaquin was very intense in what he was doing, as it should be, as he should be,” De Niro said. “There’s nothing to talk about, personally, on the side, ‘Let’s have coffee.’ Let’s just do the stuff.”
Joker opens in Australia on October 3.