'Joker' Director Todd Phillips Breaks Down Joaquin Phoenix's Bathroom Dance Scene

Shouts to composer Hildur Guðnadóttir.

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Dancing plays a pivotal role in Joker, a movie you may have heard a thing or three about.

And in a fresh New York Times breakdown clip featuring director Todd Phillips, a certain bathroom dancing scene's unorthodox origin is detailed. Star Joaquin Phoenix, Phillips explained, veered off from how the sequence was originally penned.

"What's interesting about this scene to me is it's entirely different than what we had scripted," he said. "In the script, [character Arthur Fleck] was to come into the bathroom, hide his gun, wash off his makeup, and stare at himself in the mirror."

However, once Phillips and Phoenix arrived on set that day, they both decided that the scene simply didn't feel like something Arthur would actually do. Instead, Phillips arrived at the idea of playing Phoenix a piece of music from film composer Hildur Guðnadóttir.

"Joaquin just started to dance to the music, and it was just me and him alone in the bathroom," Phillips said. "There's 250 people on the crew waiting outside and he just starts doing this dance and we both kind of looked at each other and said 'OK, that's the scene.'"

In a recent interview with /Film, composer Hildur Guðnadóttir gave her assessment of the scene's power, revealing that piece was actually the first one written for the film.

"It was the very first piece of music I wrote, and that piece, it was the strongest, most physical reaction I had to the story," Guðnadóttir said. "What Joaquin is doing in the scene, it was coming from exactly the same place."

In a separate scene breakdown for Vanity Fair, Phillips gave an even more detailed play-by-play of the film's opening:

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Joker is out now.

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