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Joaquin Phoenix Sees Controversy Surrounding 'Joker' as a Good Thing in 'Some Ways'

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Joaquin Phoenix attends the premiere of Warner Bros Pictures "Joker" on September 28, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Even though Joker won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival this year, many have been speaking out against the violence the film allegedly depicts, citing concern that it might glorify this behavior rather than condemn it. But the movie's star, Joaquin Phoenix, sees the positive side to all the controversy.

For the November cover story of Vanity Fair, Phoenix discussed the new film, stating of its reception so far, "I didn’t imagine that it would be smooth sailing." He went on to explain that he accepts the contentious reactions, adding, "It’s a difficult film. In some ways, it’s good that people are having a strong reaction to it."

It's no surprise that this origin story has been disruptive to some audiences, as it follows a failing comedian who becomes so immersed in his own isolation and failure, he responds to the society that rejected him with his transformation into the iconic DC villain.

Phoenix also spoke about the complex character in general, explaining:

"You can either say here’s somebody who, like everybody, needed to be heard and understood and to have a voice. Or you can say this is somebody that disproportionately needs a large quantity of people to be fixated on him. His satisfaction comes as he stands in amongst the madness."

It's obvious that Joker pushes boundaries, in the end only adding to all the hype the film already has behind it. With the number of presale tickets selling, it's sure to be a box office success when it officially hits theaters this week.