WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Joker, now in theaters.
Arguably the most surprising moment of Todd Phillps' Joker is the revelation that the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck and Zazie Beetz's Sophie is merely a fantasy spawned by Fleck's own psychosis. Now that the film has made its theatrical debut, Beetz has offered her perspective on the tale of two Sophies.
"I think that Arthur’s Sophie is what he needs and what he wants," Beetz told The Hollywood Reporter. "He’s placing that identity on Sophie because in their first encounter, Sophie simply acknowledges his existence. Throughout a big portion of the film, he’s trying to find his existence; he’s even questioning himself, 'Am I even really here?' Sophie is a person outside of his immediate circle of his mom and his work. Having anybody outside of that just even say, 'Here, we’re an equal. This sucks for the both of us, doesn’t it?' is such a validating experience for him, especially coming from a woman, as he doesn’t have an opportunity to have any kind of romantic endeavors just due to his state. I think it means so much to him that he overemphasizes what it meant. The woman he has in his mind is, of course, different from the woman that she is. Realistically, I don’t think it would work between them."
As for whether the film rewards a second viewing with the foresight of the big twist, Beetz said she and Phillips "didn’t talk specifically about that. I think what’s interesting about Sophie is that she’s changed a lot from her original iteration in the script."
"So, to find her in this iteration being partially a fantasy, we didn’t really talk much about the second viewing, but I feel like she’s a fruition of all these different versions we tested out and put the hats on of, before landing on this," she continued. "I have my interpretation of it all, but I don’t know if I necessarily want to publicly share it. What makes it more interesting is dissecting your own version of it. But, no, I wouldn’t say we specifically, or overtly, talked about any Easter eggs to watch out for."
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.