Recently, Joaquin Phoenix went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote Joker. Outside of a couple of cringy moments where Kimmel pokes fun of the brilliant actor (all in good fun, of course), it was a pretty standard Jimmy Kimmel interview, that is until the final couple of minutes. Around the 8:29 minute mark of the video (below), Kimmel played an “exclusive outtake” from Joker that clearly made Joaquin Pheonix uncomfortable.
In the clip, we see the pissed off Phoenix swear at cinematographer Lawrence Sher for constantly whispering too loudly, before walking out of frame.
“The constant whispering, just shut the fuck up dude. I’m trying to like find something real. [ bleep ] dude. F*ck. Sorry, f*ck. It’s not a big deal. It’s not a big deal. Yeah, it kinda is. F*ck. I know you started the f*ck Cher thing, Larry. F*ck ] making fun of me. Like I’m a f*cking diva. It’s not even an insult. Cher, really? Singer, actor, dancer, fashion icon — how’s that a f*ck insult? F*ck I can’t do this, man.”
After the clip ends, Kimmel asked Phoenix who Sher was. To which the visibly embarrassed Phoenix apologetically said:
“Um, um, yeah, Larry is the cinematographer. This is so embarrassing. Yeah look, sometimes movies get intense because you’re a lot of people in a small space and you’re trying to find something. So it can feel intense. But it was supposed to be private, I’m a little embarrassed, I’m sorry about that. Sorry you guys had to see that. It’s not Larry’s fault.”
The Jimmy Kimmel episode received a ton of criticisms from a lot of fans who were unhappy that Kimmel played the clip and made Phoenix uncomfortable.
this joaquin phoenix interview on jimmy kimmel is so awkward jesus christ
— 2 (formerly 2) (@TrostepelaBurge) October 2, 2019
This jimmy kimmel interview with joaquin phoenix is awkward af what was he thinking sharing that outtake video #smh
— Pritzzzzz (@prit3351) October 2, 2019
Is it just me or is Jimmy Kimmel a total asshole ? Awkward and belittling conversation with Joaquin Phoenix tonight 🤦🏼♀️ No need for that kind of shit Jimmy !
— Kimwheatbourgeois24 (@kimbourgeois241) October 2, 2019
However, a number of film journalists wondered if the whole thing was a stunt set up by Warner Bros and Joaquin Phoenix. While it’s still a little unclear at this point, Joaquin Phoenix’s publicist has told EW that it was simply a “joke outtake.” In 2009, Phoenix pulled a similar stunt on the David Letterman show.
JOKER is currently playing in Malaysian theatres.