Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Has Serious Mommy Issues


Brian Tyree Henry had an impressive 2018 on TV (Atlanta) and in movies (If Beale Street Could Talk, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Widows), with at least one major example of the latter already on the way in 2019, namely Joker. In a recent interview with The Observer, the actor was asked about the film, and he suggested a preoccupation with mother-son relations that mirrors star Joaquin Phoenix’s 2018 triumph You Were Never Really Here—and even Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

“There’s going to be a connection [made] about a boy and his mother,” he said. “That is another thing that you’re going to see—that he was capable of love at some point. But, at the end of the day, I think it’s all about how he was made that way, how he didn’t start being that kind of person.”

In other words, as you might have already inferred from the trailer, Joker’s an origin story that attempts to explain how the title character became a deranged fiend. “Villains are never born that way, they’re made,” Henry explained. “There’s something that happens in their lives that they give up their faith in humanity; they see the flaws of humanity and mankind and feel like they must correct it. And what happens with Joker is you start to see how he really was a happy person. He really was trying to find this… hope in humanity until it broke him down and he just had to give up and reshape it.”

Joker arrives in theatres on October 4. Check out the trailer below.