Todd Phillips' Joker featured numerous scenes that pushed the boundaries of character exploration and violence while telling the story of Joaquin Phoenix's tragic Arthur Fleck. Most critics and fans have praised Phoenix for his performance in the film as he brought the character to life.
During a recent Q&A session at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the director recalled Phoenix's experimental attitude to just "try things," particularly when it came to the emotional beats of the narrative. He also revealed how there was one "amazing" scene featuring Phoenix and a bathtub that couldn't be included in an R-rated version of the movie due to how "insane" it is.
"So the other thing that's great about Joaquin is that he's always up to try things," Phillips said. "So, we would finish our days early sometimes and we started doing this thing, Joaquin and I, we called it ... a study of insomnia. It was our own fun little thing like we have an hour left in the day, let's light this kitchen, Joaquin let's do something over by the sink or the fridge, and let's just set up two cameras, Larry [Sher] would operate one, Jeff [Groth] would operate the other, and we would do these things -- the fridge was one of those. It wasn't in the script it was something that Joaquin just kind of did and there was a few others, there's only one other that's in the movie and it's when he's laughing after he goes to Zazie's [Beetz] apartment and he comes back down the hall and he's laughing alone in that living room, that was another one."
"There were two or three others we shot, one that is amazing in a bathtub, but I don't think we can actually include it in an R-rated movie and it's not because it was pornographic, it was just insane," he added.
There was no further explanation of what this bathtub scene entailed. Moreover, Phillips made no mention of it being included in a future director's cut of the movie or whether it would be a part of the bonus features on Joker's eventual home release, so it's unknown whether fans will ever be able to witness the moment for themselves.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham. The film is now in theaters.