The veteran actor won the award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in 'Joker', which was also one of the most talked-about movies of 2019.
At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, Todd Phillip's Joker received four nominations for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Motion Picture. Hence, when the movie won two awards with Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir, it came as no surprise to anyone. The movie first premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, where it won the Golden Lion and eventually released in the United States on October 4, 2019.
Most of us went with an open mind when we watched the movie at the theaters hoping to enjoy whatever Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix had in store during the 122-minute feature film. Sure enough, nobody was ready for what was going to unfold on the screen. The movie can be best be described as complete systematic anarchy. It was made with utmost precision and Joaquin Phoenix walked every step with him, even when the movie and its primary character were caught in the social media line of fire.
The movie grossed $1.06 billion worldwide and Phoenix played the role of wannabe comedian Arthur Fleck, whose troubled state of mind led him to unravels into a criminal icon resembling Batman’s archnemesis. The origin story of Todd Philip's Joker was inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, but Philip's offered Phoenix an empty canvas on which the actor skillfully painted a picture of a disturbed, potentially misunderstood man caught in the time of a severe economic meltdown.
For the role, Joaquin Phoenix lost a staggering 52 pounds in order to portray Fleck’s gaunt physique and turned Joker’s laugh into an extension of the character. During the Venice Film Festival, Phoenix told audiences, "Before I even read the script, Todd came over and talked me through what he wanted out of this character and this movie, and he showed me some videos, and he described the laughter as something that was almost painful. And so ultimately, I think Joker is a part of him that’s trying to emerge, and I think that was a really interesting way of looking at this laugh [...] It felt like a new, fresh way of looking at it. But honestly, I didn’t think that I could do it. I would practice alone and then asked Todd to come over to audition my laugh because I felt like I had to do it on the spot and in front of somebody else. It took me a long time."
Phoenix becomes the second actor to win a Golden Globe for playing the iconic DC Comic villain. Back in 2009, Heath Ledger won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for his work in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight posthumously.