Lifestyle & Human Interest

Joaquin Phoenix Collapsed During Filming of New Movie, Director Reveals: 'I Knew It Was Bad'


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

Director Ari Aster revealed during a Q&A session in New York that actor Joaquin Phoenix fainted during the filming of “Beau Is Afraid.”

The revelation came after an April Fool’s prank in which “Beau Is Afraid” was shown instead of the billed director’s cut of the 2019 horror film “Midsommar,” Deadline reported.

Actress Emma Stone moderated the session and remarked, “Thank you all for coming out tonight. I know you didn’t know you were coming to this,” to which the crowd laughed.

During the session, Deadline reported, Aster recalled the moment Phoenix collapsed: “There was a scene that was very intense for Patti [LuPone], and it was a shot that was on Patti, it was not on him and all of a sudden he fell out of frame.”

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The director admitted he was “really pissed because it was a really good take.”

“It felt confusing, so I went around the corner, and he was collapsed,” Aster continued.

He added, “I knew it was bad because he was letting people touch him, and people were tending to him, and he was allowing it.

“The point is that he fainted in somebody else’s take. He wasn’t on camera, and he was helping them. He was in it for them to the point where he collapsed. It’s very poetic that he collapsed in somebody else’s shot.”

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The Academy Award-winning actor is often known for going to extremes for films.

For his role in “Joker” he lost over 50 pounds and ultimately won an Oscar for the role. In the 2010 mockumentary “I’m Still Here” he “quit” acting to pursue a rap career and almost ruined his actual career in the process.

He even had his metal brackets inserted in his mouth to better get into character for the drama “The Master.”

Actor Nathan Lane briefly described Phoenix on the set of “Beau Is Afraid” while appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

He started by stating, “He and I — Joaquin — we really hit it off, although we have very different sensibilities. He’s very intense, and I’m just tense.”

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Lane continued by stating Phoenix found him to be funny. “Every time we did a take, you know, he would say, ‘I can’t look you directly in the eyes, or I will break up.'”

The film is described as “a paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother.”

It was released in theaters on April 21.

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