Joker has broken a lot of new ground since it was released last month, not only becoming one of the most successful DC Comics films as of late, but even beating out Deadpool 2 (2018) for highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. From Joaquin Phoenix’s dark and moving performance, to the masterful directing of Todd Phillips, it’s no wonder why the film performed as well as it did.
Films are more than just what you see on the big screen however, with actors and directors alike behaving off-camera in ways you wouldn’t expect. Sometimes seeing that deep character you like so much acting like a completely different person can really take you out of a movie.
To prove this point, we’ve collected 20 behind the scenes photos from Joker that prove even the best of movies can be ruined by some simple candid images. No need to thank us, just scroll through and enjoy!
20 The De Niro Show
Robert De Niro did a wonderful job portraying fictional talk show host Murray Franklin, someone that Arthur deeply admires to an almost obsessive level throughout much of the movie. Seeing director Todd Phillips in the guest’s chair while De Niro still seems to be in character is just bizarre though.
19 One Of Those Days
It's tougher being an actor than a lot of people realize. The days are long, and putting your deepest emotions on display for all to see can get exhausting after a while. Clearly Joaquin was feeling that acting drain in this behind-the-scenes image, with a look on his face that says “Please tell me that’s the last take.”
18 Light-Hearted Joker Fun
Luckily, making a movie isn't all hard work and no play. There's a reason why actors love to act. Here we can see Joaquin having one of his better days on set next to director Todd Phillips. Still, it’s strange to see the normally sinister Joker with such a wholesome look on his face.
17 A Friendly Poker Game
Remember what we said earlier about the importance of context? Well this photo could certainly use it, especially for the fact that the scene it's from never actually appears in the movie. We see several of Arthur's clown co-workers, including an unfamiliar shirtless man, gathered around a table. What's going on here?
16 Joker Has His Own Private Stylist
We see Arthur apply the Joker face paint on himself multiple times during the movie, and it's really hard to imagine any iteration of the psychotic clown not doing his own makeup. Yet here we have the fiendish clown having someone do it for him. Apparently even villains need stylists.
15 Why So Serious?
Joaquin is most likely just paying close attention to some acting directions given by Todd Phillips in this photo, but we can't help but notice how serious he looks. Arthur gives expressions of anguish, or awkward smiling throughout the film, but the intense concentration Joaquin shows here feels really out of character.
14 Gotham's Finest
Here we have a behind-the-scenes look at the two detectives who question Arthur about the subway murders that have triggered riots all over the city. While the two are quite diligent in the film, and even chase down our clowned anti-hero near the end of the film, they seem a lot more lax in this photograph.
13 Staying Comfy On Set
You can't blame an actor for wanting to be comfortable during their long work hours. That's why Joaquin can be seen here adjusting his collar. That's all fine and good, but we can't help but laugh at that fact it looks like he's doing a Rodney Dangerfield impression. No respect!
12 When You Sit Next To The Loud Guy On The Train
We've all had those unlucky moments where we've sat next to some unsavory person on a bus or train. The man yelling in this photo is actually director Todd Phillips giving directions to cast and crew members, but the look on Joaquin's face says it all, he's having bad public transportation flashbacks.
11 Interrupting Joker's Bathroom Routine
The final Joker outfit we see near the end of the film is easily one of the coolest depictions of the character yet, a big part of that being his simple yet iconic face paint. In this photo however, we see Joaquin with an only partly painted face, which leaves it looking more like a facial beauty mask.
10 Scolding The Clown
We see Arthur go through a lot of abuse, both physically and mentally, in Joker. In this behind-the-scenes pic, it seems as even though the director himself can't help but berate the poor clown. At almost makes you forget how intimidating of a figure he becomes later on in the film.
9 A Heartwarming Hug
Now here's an image that you probably didn't expect to see in such a dark movie, the ever-depressing Arthur Fleck having a warm embrace with another human being. It almost makes us wonder if a simple hug would have been the key to stopping Arthur from becoming a wicked killer clown.
8 Don't Worry, It's Just A Smoke Machine
This one focuses more on the set and special effects than the characters in the movie. This scene is supposed to take place during a riot on the city, complete with angry, masked citizens, and tear gas. This photo from the other side of the action reminds us that it's really all just movie magic.
7 Halloween 2019
Here's a photo that almost looks like it belongs more on a facebook feed than a behind-the-scenes reel. Depicted are multiple youths with the full Joker makeup on, something that we all saw plenty of last month during Halloween. In the film, these extras actually play the part of clown protestors who later ravage the city.
6 Catwoman Easter Egg
This behind-the-scenes photo actually ruins the movie in a completely different way than the rest. In a page from Arthur's joke book that we never actually get to see in the movie, there's some obvious references to well-known Batman villain Catwoman. It's disappointing that this fun Easter egg didn't make it into the final cut.
5 Send In The Clowns
You'd think that the sight of a person in full clown gear sprinting down the street in broad daylight would be something to catch people's attention. But in this amusing shot, the pedestrians around Arthur seem more mildly annoyed than anything, giving the impression that this isn’t out of the ordinary for them.
4 The Not-So-Meme-Worthy Arthur Stairs
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, you've seen the Joker Stairs meme. A location so hot right now that fans from all over are visiting the Bronx just to take selfies on it. But imagine if plain-clothes Arthur was the only one to ever use these stairs. Suddenly they’re not so meme-worthy.
3 That's Not Superman
No that isn't a bird, nor a plane. It's a sad-looking clown inside of a phonebooth. Arthur's old clown outfit at the start of the film is so goofy, that it’s actually funny seeing it on the trash-filled Gotham City set. Combine that with the camera crew, and it looks like they’re filming a silly car insurance commercial.
2 Clowning Around
As it turns out, Batman’s future nemesis is far from the only clown that appears in the film. In this photo, we can see Joaquin messing around with fellow actor Glenn Fleshler, who is in full clown garb. We’re sure Phoenix was glad he wasn’t the only one who had to were such a goofy outfit on set.
1 Arthur Does His Shopping
Context is very important. Which is why this behind-the-scenes photo of Arthur is a pretty bad representation of the film. Without any context, it this just appears to be a picture of some middle-aged man doing his grocery shopping for the day. Not a particularly thrilling image you'd expect to see in a Joker movie.