Joaquin Phoenix walked out of an interview promoting his new movie Joker recently, when the journalist asked if he’s concerned the film may “inspire” violence.
The 44-year-old actor was being asked about his latest project by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, with journalist Robbie Collin questioning: “Aren’t you worried that this film might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results?”
According to Collin, Phoenix looked confused and answered “Why would you…? No… no”, before walking out of the room.
The publication reports that the leading man then spent the next hour talking to a publicist from Warner Bros. – the studio behind the film, directed by Todd Phillips – to “get things back on track”.
He then eventually returned to the chat, explaining to Collin that he panicked because he hadn’t thought about that possibility before.
Despite his remark, IGN published an interview with the actor which they said was conducted a few days before his chat with the Daily Telegraph, in which they asked him a similar question.
Responding to that question, Phoenix replied: “I think that, for most of us, you’re able to tell the difference between right and wrong. And those that aren’t are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to. People misinterpret lyrics from songs. They misinterpret passages from books.
“So I don’t think it’s the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong. I mean, to me, I think that that’s obvious.”