Joaquin Phoenix Had a 'No Assh*les' Rule on 'Joker' Set

We should all follow this rule.


Image via Getty/Theo Wargo/Film at Lincoln Center


"No assholes," of course, should absolutely be a rule we all follow in both our work and social interactions. Assholery is for the birds. In that spirit, it should come as presumably little to no surprise that Joker star Joaquin Phoenix requested a total absence of assholery on the set of the critically acclaimed and financially mega-viable film by Todd Phillips.

Josh Pais, who plays Arthur's boss Hoyt Vaughn in the movie, explained in a Hollywood Reporterinterview that he was informed of Phoenix's two-part rule during an early meeting with Phillips.

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"I auditioned once with casting directors, and they were enthusiastic," he said. "They gave it to Todd, and then I had a meeting with Todd. He said, 'I loved your tape. I just want to make sure that you’re not an asshole because one person on set can really ruin the whole vibe of the thing.'"

Though Pais conceded that he did indeed portray an arguable asshole in the film, Phoenix's rule still stands.

"Joaquin told Todd, 'I don't care who you cast, just make sure everybody is a really good actor—and no assholes.' So, I guess I passed the test. That makes it official, right?" he said.

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All told, Pais spent three days on set, an experience he described as being hyper-focused thanks in large part to Phoenix's approach to the story. 

"I felt like I had to bring my A-game, and everybody on the crew felt the same," he said. "There was very little extraneous work going on."

In semi-related news, former Joker Jared Leto was recently revealed to have allegedly felt "alienated and upset" by the arrival of a new take on the classic Batman villain.

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