Since its record-breaking debut, Joker has received immense praise from moviegoers for its evocative portrayal of Arthur Fleck, the titular anti-hero. One scene, in particular, has been both moving and creeping out audiences — Joker’s bathroom dance scene. Now in a new interview, director Todd Phillips gave The New York Times a rundown of the movie’s haunting scene.
In a dilapidated bathroom, under flickering fluorescent lights, Arthur slowly gives a deliberate and poignant dance to a swooning piece of music. Phillips admits that this captivating scene wasn’t even scripted. “Right after a cataclysmic event in Arthur’s life” the character rushes into this bathroom where he was meant to hide his gun and wash off his face paint the director explains, however, Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t satisfied with this version of things.
Apparently one hour into filming the scene Phillips began to play the eerie melody and Phoenix started dancing. “That’s the scene” they both said in that moment. “Arthur is one of those people that has music in him,” Phillips explains and Phoenix perfectly understood that when he created that scene.
Watch the moving scene with Todd Phillips breakdown above.