Dominating Awards Season
Joaquin Phoenix and his searing performance as Arthur Fleck in Joker has been the toast of the 2020 awards season, for better or worse. He took home the Best Actor in a Drama Golden Globe and won the same at the SAG Awards , making him the frontrunner for the Best Actor Oscar.
Between his promotion of veganism and wearing the same tuxedo for the entire circuit to promote cutting waste, Phoenix has not been wasting his moment in the limelight. In that same vein, he took the time during his SAG speech to praise his fellow nominees.
Paying Tribute To His Fellow Nominees
"When I started acting again, and going to auditions, I'd always get to like the final callback, and I think many people know what that's like. And there would always be, like, two other guys that I was up against. And we'd always lose to this one kid. No actor would ever say his name because it was, like, too much, but every casting director would whisper, 'It's Leonardo.'"
He continued, praising Christian Bale who "never turns in a bad performance.. It's infuriating. I wish you would one time just suck once." He also highlighted Adam Driver's "beautiful, nuanced" performance in Marriage Story and told Rocketman's Taron Egerton that he "can't wait to see what else you do."
Honoring Heath Ledger's Legacy
However, the most emotional moment of the speech was when Phoenix mentioned Heath Ledger, who portrayed the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight and won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar posthumously. Phoenix explained:
"I'm standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger."
Ledger died in 2007 after an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. His performance as the Joker has gone down in history as the best portrayal of the iconic character and is seen as the high mark of superhero films performances.
Making The Most Of His Acceptance Speeches
Phoenix has already made headlines this season with his acceptance speeches, with his Golden Globes speech calling out his fellow Hollywood stars and their privilege.
"Hopefully, we can be unified and actually make some changes. It's great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives ... we don't have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the awards."
What will Phoenix say when he likely accepts his Oscar in a couple of weeks?