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Phoenix — wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, black pants and sneakers — made appearances before and after the movie Saturday night in various theaters in Los Angeles, talking to fans and posing for photos.
Moviegoers seemed excited about the visits, applauding in photos and videos shared with The Hollywood Reporter, with one audience member giving the actor a hug and praising his performance.
Another moviegoer was crying when she met Phoenix, but they seemed to be happy tears as she told him he “did such a great job.”
During one post-movie appearance, captured by a fan on video and retweeted by Alamo Drafthouse L.A.’s social media account, Phoenix apologized for possibly ruining the movie by making the lights come up early, but an audience member shouted out that he “didn’t ruin anything.”
“I hope you liked it,” Phoenix added, before joking, “Don’t tell me if you didn’t. Even if you did, I don’t want to know. But thanks so much.”
In another video, seen by THR, Phoenix was asked about his dancing in character as Joker (aka Arthur Fleck). He said he worked with choreographer Michael Arnold and credited Arnold for helping him come up with Fleck’s moves.
“He just started showing me a bunch of video footage of different dancers and you know, YouTube, you just get sucked down a hole and you start finding stuff,” the actor said of working with Arnold. “I don’t really know where it came from. A lot of it we just kind of were discovering in the moment, like in the bathroom and the subway — it’s something that [director] Todd [Phillips] and I just kind of figured out, like that day when we were shooting.”
Joker grossed $93.5 million at the domestic box office and $140.5 million overseas for a global debut of $234 million, setting new records for the month of October.
The financial success comes after concerns about the gritty film’s realistic violence prompted police departments in Los Angeles and New York to increase security, with theaters reminding fans not to bring toy weapons or to sport face paint or masks, as employees checked IDs and informed ticket-buyers that the pic is a hard R-rated movie that is not suitable for children.
Read filmgoers’ tweets about the experience below.
I shook Joaquin Phoenix’s hand tonight after seeing JOKER at the @DrafthouseLA, thus cementing my firm belief that both Alamo and Joaquin are the greatest in their respective fields.
— Jeremiah Dollins (@ambivalent_man) October 6, 2019
Tonight I saw the 9:10 Joker at Alamo Drafthouse. Before it started the house lights went up and Joaquin Phoenix legit walked to the front and thanked us for coming. Everyone went fucking nuts.
It was my favorite part of the movie.
— Julie Seabaugh (@julieseabaugh) October 6, 2019
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