Joaquin Phoenix opens up about response to controversial Joker film

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Joaquin Phoenix is speaking out on his controversial new film Joker and opening up on his private life, revealing his fiancée Rooney Mara is the only girl he's ever searched online and debunking his famed brother River's claims about losing his virginity at the age of four. 

The 44-year-old actor Phoenix is in the center of the spotlight thanks to the highly-anticipated Joker film slated to play in theaters this week. 

The film has faced furious backlash amid fears it could trigger violence in the wake of Colorado movie theater shooting in 2012 at a screening of The Dark Knight, which included the Joker character.  

'I didn’t imagine that it would be smooth sailing,' Phoenix said in the November issue of Vanity Fair, downplaying the threat of violence. 

'It’s a difficult film. In some ways, it’s good that people are having a strong reaction to it,' he added. 

Joaquin Phoenix, 44, says 'I didn't imagine it would be smooth sailing' on the Joker film controversy, but thinks the strong reaction is 'good' as the movie hits theaters this week

Joaquin Phoenix, 44, says 'I didn't imagine it would be smooth sailing' on the Joker film controversy, but thinks the strong reaction is 'good' as the movie hits theaters this week

The film has faced furious backlash amid fears it could trigger violence in the wake of Colorado movie shooting in 2012 at a screening of The Dark Knight, which included the Joker character

The film has faced furious backlash amid fears it could trigger violence in the wake of Colorado movie shooting in 2012 at a screening of The Dark Knight, which included the Joker character

He said he felt compelled to portray the Joker in a way 'where you sympathize or empathize with this villain'

He said he felt compelled to portray the Joker in a way 'where you sympathize or empathize with this villain'

Just two weeks ago the U.S. Army issued a warning saying there of potential threats of violence by incels - a group of 'involuntary celibate' men. 

'There’s so many different ways of looking at it,' Phoenix said on playing the Joker,  a failed comedian who turns into a nihilistic murderer. '

Phoenix opened up about his role in the film and personal life in the November issue of Vanity Fair

Phoenix opened up about his role in the film and personal life in the November issue of Vanity Fair

'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,' he added. 

He said he felt compelled to portray the Joker in a way 'where you sympathize or empathize with this villain.'

Director Todd Phillips insisted the film wasn't designed to encourage violence, rather it's a call for society to self-reflect. 

'We’re making a movie about a fictional character in a fictional world, ultimately, and your hope is that people take it for what it is,' he said. 

'You can’t blame movies for a world that is so f**ked up that anything can trigger it. That’s kind of what the movie is about. It’s not a call to action. If anything it’s a call to self-reflection to society,' he added. 

In the November issue Phoenix revealed he thought his fiancée Rooney Mara despised him at first when they met on set of the film Her in 2013. In July 2019 the couple confirmed they were engaged

In the November issue Phoenix revealed he thought his fiancée Rooney Mara despised him at first when they met on set of the film Her in 2013. In July 2019 the couple confirmed they were engaged

'She's the only girl I ever looked up on the internet. We were just friends, email friends. I¿d never done that. Never looked up a girl online,' Phoenix said.

'She's the only girl I ever looked up on the internet. We were just friends, email friends. I’d never done that. Never looked up a girl online,' Phoenix said. 

In the candid interview Phoenix, who is typically tight-lipped when it comes to his romance, opened about his relationship with fiancée Rooney Mara. 

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The couple live together and have been

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