Joaquin Phoenix Struggled Mentally After Losing 52 Pounds for Joker

“I felt like I could move my body in ways that I hadn’t been able to before,”


Joaquin Phoenix, 44, had to lose weight within a shorter period in order to get prepared for his new movie, Joker.

It was director Todd Phillips who convinced Phoenix to lose 52 pounds for his character, Arthur Fleck, to look real thin.

Phoenix started losing his weight carefully under the supervision of a doctor. However, he developed a disorder after hitting his goal due to strict calorie deprivation.

The “Gladiator” actor told the Associated Press, “Once you reach the target weight, everything changes. Like so much of what’s difficult is waking up every day and being obsessed over like 0.3 pounds. Right? And you really develop like a disorder. I mean, it’s wild.”

Phoenix had to struggle mentally after losing weight, but he found that he felt much better physically.

“I think the interesting thing for me is what I had expected and anticipated with the weight loss was these feelings of dissatisfaction, hunger, a certain kind of vulnerability and a weakness,” said Phoenix. “But what I didn’t anticipate was this feeling of kind of fluidity that I felt physically.”

The “Her” actor added, “I felt like I could move my body in ways that I hadn’t been able to before. And I think that really lent itself to some of the physical movement that started to emerge as an important part of the character.”

Phoenix initially wanted to gain weight for the character, as he was wary of losing so much weight within a shorter period of time; however, Phillips convinced him otherwise. He said it affected his mental health. In August, Phoenix said, “As it turns out, that impacts your psychology, and you really start to go mad when you lose that much weight in that amount of time.”