Joaquin Phoenix has won the Oscar for the best actor award, his first.
Phoenix gets the honor for playing the controversial character Arthur Fleck, a clown and aspiring comedian who turns violent and becomes the Batman villain Joker. “Joker,” which filmed scenes in Newark and Jersey City in 2018, declared the most Oscar nominations of any film this year — 11.
The actor, 45, talked in-depth about “the distressing problems we’re facing,” including gender equality, racism, animal rights, and environmental problems. Phoenix announced during an interview that he has been vegan since he was four years old, something he decided with his late brother, River Phoenix.
With the win, for portraying the DC villainPhoenix becomes the second actor to pick up an Academy Award. Heath Ledger also won a posthumous Oscar in 2012 for performing his iconic version of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In his acceptance speech at last month’s SAG Awards, Phoenix gave a heartfelt nod to his predecessor.
Phoenix edged out what’s by now become a common field of best actor nominees: Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Adam Driver for Marriage Story, and Jonathan Pryce for The Two Popes. As for Joker itself, director Todd Phillips’s dark take on DC’s famous Batman villain earned an astounding 11 Oscar nominations in all, including nods for Best Director and Best Picture.
You have to make up your mind by artistic viewing,” he later said. “I can simply fall into it and never come back.” In the end, Scorsese wrote the art of movies “can’t survive without the business… I have to answer that in the end, the business can’t survive without the art, which is created by people with something to say.”