'Joker' Star Zazie Beetz Weighs In on Her Character's Fate

Niko Tavernise/Wanrer Bros. Entertainment
Zazie Beetz and Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker.'

Amid director Todd Phillips' deliberate ambiguity, audiences are left to wonder whether the love interest survived.

She lived.

That's Zazie Beetz's easy answer when queried as to whether Sophie Dumond, her character in Todd Phillips' Joker, survived or met a bloody demise. Dumond — the empathetic neighbor of Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck, whose relationship with the mentally unstable aspiring comedian inspired many fan conspiracy theories — is last seen in a scene during which Fleck has entered the apartment she shares with her daughter. It's revealed that the two characters don't know each other at all, despite earlier fantasy sequences suggesting otherwise, and when Fleck exits the apartment, Dumond's fate is unclear.

Shortly before the Warner Bros. film crossed $1 billion at the global box office, Phillips confirmed that Dumond made it out alive, and when The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Beetz, she explains they never discussed a tragic ending. "It was always very self-evident to me that she didn't get killed. Arthur was avenging himself against people who did him wrong, and I didn't [wrong him]. I acknowledged him," says Beetz, who now holds the distinction of starring in two of the top three highest-grossing R-rated films of all time in Joker (No. 1) and Deadpool 2 (No. 3). "I think when he comes into my apartment, he understands what the situation is and that I would feel fear in that moment. I still function in an act of trying to take care [of him], like, 'Should I call your mother?' or, 'Do you need help right now?' I never felt that [she died], but a lot of people did — so it's up to interpretation, I suppose."

What's not up for debate is the box office haul, which already has led to inevitable sequel talk. Though Beetz says she has not yet formally been approached, she's game for round two. "I'm so happy for Todd, and I'm so happy for Joaquin. I know this was their baby, and they took a lot of risks," says the actress, who recently signed with CAA in a move to expand her career into producing her own projects. "I would do anything with Todd and Joaquin. That world is so wonderful and special. If they asked me to do anything else, I would be so happy to."

This story first appeared in a January stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.