Watch Joaquin Phoenix Do a Creepy Dance in ‘Joker’ | Anatomy of a Scene

  • Published: 07 October 2019
  • A run-down bathroom with a flickering fluorescent light, a swooning piece of music and some slow, deliberate moves. Those spare ingredients go into crafting this downbeat but memorable moment from “Joker.”

    When the scene begins, Arthur Fleck (a.k.a. the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix) has just had an intense, life-defining moment and finds a bathroom to collect and calm himself. He does so with a dance that the director Todd Phillips said Phoenix came up with on the day of the shoot. In his narration, Phillips discusses the music (by Hildur Gudnadottir), and how he and Phoenix came to change the scene from what was in the script.

    Read the NYT review:
    More from The New York Times Video:
    Whether it's reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It's all the news that's fit to watch.
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 4 015

  • djjlc
    djjlc  16 hours back

    It’s one of the most beautiful scenes in a movie I’ve ever scene and I’ve watched a lot of movies

    • Mucky Manzatti
      Mucky Manzatti  18 hours back

      No woman could ever perform like this.

      • Jaana Viit
        Jaana Viit  17 hours back

        @Mucky Manzatti Its OK.... Take it easy.... One love brother!

      • Mucky Manzatti
        Mucky Manzatti  17 hours back

        @Jaana Viit Awwe...truth hurts sweetheart.

      • Jaana Viit
        Jaana Viit  17 hours back

        Seriously that is not relevant... and also not true...

    • Anna Ashleyshone
      Anna Ashleyshone  20 hours back

      I don’t know why I remember this scene the most cleary and why I feel so impressed.
      I even listened to the Bathroom dance over and over.
      Now I know why. Beautiful just like a bird escaping the cage and spread their wings for the first time.

      • Ni Ro
        Ni Ro  1 days back

        His interpretation is indeed brilliant

        • Jenny Sheekey
          Jenny Sheekey  1 days back

          This scene was Amazing

          • Luciano
            Luciano  1 days back

            What a masterpiece in Acting. Such a Sad story. Is probably one of the most disturbing movies I have ever watched.

            • Eric Thompson
              Eric Thompson  1 days back

              this scene was amazing

              • José Luis Fuentes Manrique

                I didn't cry with any particular scene but, jeez... Let me tell for sure that it gave me chills and goosebumps all movie long.

                Beautiful feeling to the unexpected reaction of the character to the situations presented.

                • Nat Bite
                  Nat Bite  2 days back

                  This scene was so beautiful and dark. Incredible movement and score ❤

                  • ThePsychopompos1
                    ThePsychopompos1  2 days back

                    Most amazing movie this century.

                    • James Gatsby
                      James Gatsby  2 days back

                      It was beautiful.

                      • Joker Motorcycle
                        Joker Motorcycle  2 days back

                        Best joker movie 🎥 👏🌹

                        • strom trooper
                          strom trooper  2 days back

                          If you want to see a realife Joker, you should Google for Iqram Dinzly

                          • Avalanche
                            Avalanche  2 days back

                            I cannot describe how much I loved this movie. Thanks to the whole crew; and sad to see the PC police is trying hard to bash this extraordinary movie

                            • Judy Blaha
                              Judy Blaha  3 days back

                              Great performance beautiful man

                              • badopinionsrighthere
                                badopinionsrighthere  3 days back

                                This scene and characterization was brilliant. Arthur uses dance as a form of control- control of himself, control of the situation. When you watch the movie, you'll notice he dances when he feels confident in himself and his actions. Spoilery examples in my reply

                                • Cerulean Sealpup
                                  Cerulean Sealpup  3 days back

                                  This scene did creep me out..i dont know why.

                                  • Juan Cortez
                                    Juan Cortez  3 days back

                                    Like Apocalypse Now.

                                    • Gold
                                      Gold  3 days back

                                      Am I the only one who cried during this scene? It was so emotional...

                                    • Kräuterseuche
                                      Kräuterseuche  3 days back

                                      This doesn't feel creepy to me. It gets this special feeling of " Oh wow, this is some deep ship."

                                      • Vince E
                                        Vince E  3 days back

                                        Imagine Jared Leto doing this scene. lol

                                        • Ruben Hernandez
                                          Ruben Hernandez  15 hours back

                                          Watch Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers club. He can do wonders in the right environment.

                                        • Warlock
                                          Warlock  22 hours back

                                          @task master He tried to cancel the Joker movie

                                        • task master
                                          task master  2 days back

                                          @Vince E how old are you? Never seen his old movies before? He is not that bad

                                        • Vince E
                                          Vince E  2 days back

                                          @task master so this is a good movie with a good writer. You're telling me Jared Leto would do well in this scene? Lol. Jared Leto is trash and the DC franchise let him know.

                                        • task master
                                          task master  2 days back

                                          He's a good actor with bad writer and movie. Stop being a sheep

                                      • Stas
                                        Stas  3 days back

                                        The movie is a masterpiece - bewitching and overwhelming!

                                        • Stas
                                          Stas  1 days back

                                          @Francesca Mezzi 100% agree! :)

                                        • Francesca Mezzi
                                          Francesca Mezzi  1 days back

                                          100% agree. Outstanding in every way a movie can be.

                                      • Azimin Shafie
                                        Azimin Shafie  3 days back

                                        Honestly, any actor who can play batman and win an oscar will be the best actor of all time.

                                        • MM M
                                          MM M  3 days back

                                          This is my favorite scene in the entire movie! You can taste the power, glory, & satisfaction of his actions. Arthur's pain of his trauma becomes justified! I had tears in my eyes & chills over my whole body!!!

                                          • skyly02
                                            skyly02  3 days back

                                            Joker is good.

                                            • Task Don
                                              Task Don  3 days back

                                              The dance fit so well into Joker's characteristic because after tasting blood for the first time in his life that he wants to celebrate by dancing. This moment is not the birth of Joker, this is the moment of rebirth of Joker. As he said later on, he doesn't have the "condition" because this is him: a natural psychopath that has been suppressed by life and society which just need a moment for him to finally break free.

                                              • Henry Gonzalez
                                                Henry Gonzalez  3 days back

                                                Man the acting was great... it was hard cord he new the moves...

                                                • kay jones
                                                  kay jones  3 days back

                                                  The perfect scene, tai chi joker style....

                                                  • Best Gmn
                                                    Best Gmn  3 days back

                                                    It's so theatral...become THE personnage it's not easy...he is the 🤡. Two personnage! Thumbs'up To Phoenix♥️

                                                    • docdurdin
                                                      docdurdin  3 days back

                                                      The entertainment media (in total) is very proud of how well they dance with the news media to influence and control the herd mentality of the public. Actually, the industry would agree with me that their work is exquisite and artful, although shameful and destructive. The actual JOKE is on you. For the youth who are blinded by an entrained obsessive need for acceptance, this work is genius. If you haven't noticed, most actors today have a different avenue of training. They have been stripped of any real personality, left only with an alter ego created by the industry in control, like trained animals. The real wake up call came from the LAST JOKER..... Might you wonder what really happened to him? There are no exits from the deal.

                                                      • rhyka101
                                                        rhyka101  3 days back

                                                        I saw the film last night. Superbly directed and an amazing performance from Phoenix. Twists that hit you hard and unapologetic violence. Homages to previous movies and thought provoking social commentary. The use of a cello and the music score overall beautifully matches the moods created.

                                                        • BeeHugger 7
                                                          BeeHugger 7  4 days back

                                                          This is better titled
                                                          " joker does qi gong"🙃

                                                          • MALi Moor
                                                            MALi Moor  4 days back

                                                            The dance of change.

                                                            • PITUFINA
                                                              PITUFINA  4 days back

                                                              Masterpiece Phoenix !!! Hopefully will win the Oscar

                                                              • Chris Mequet
                                                                Chris Mequet  4 days back

                                                                I wish that Todd waited like 1 more week to talk about the behind the scenes stuff. Only for the simple fact that some people might have not seen this before watching the movie.

                                                                • Simple Figure
                                                                  Simple Figure  4 days back

                                                                  Wanna hear a joke?

                                                                  Joker 68%
                                                                  Batwoman 69%

                                                                  • task master
                                                                    task master  2 days back

                                                                    That perfectly represent "society"

                                                                  • the shuriken
                                                                    the shuriken  2 days back

                                                                    you mean from Rotten Tomatoes? I will never believed that website, they rated Avengers Endgame 94% and Joker 68%, are they a bunch of elementary kids?

                                                                • guritza80
                                                                  guritza80  4 days back

                                                                  Genius ♡

                                                                  • Day One
                                                                    Day One  4 days back

                                                                    This is THE best movie of 2019 ! Bring in the oscars

                                                                    • David P
                                                                      David P  4 days back

                                                                      Ever dance with the Devil in the pale bathroom light?

                                                                      • Mohammad Albeshari
                                                                        Mohammad Albeshari  4 days back

                                                                        I love this movie

                                                                        • oshitomaha
                                                                          oshitomaha  4 days back

                                                                          I thought “martial arts” at first when I was at a theater.

                                                                          • A P
                                                                            A P  5 days back

                                                                            Nothing creepy about his dance

                                                                            It’s quite beautiful... like tai chi

                                                                            • Venom - PUBG
                                                                              Venom - PUBG  5 days back

                                                                              Venom Vs Joker?

                                                                              • Bray Bay
                                                                                Bray Bay  5 days back

                                                                                Joaquin as Joker as Thom Yorke in Lotus Flower.

                                                                                • Leontief Modell
                                                                                  Leontief Modell  5 days back

                                                                                  That was one of the most striking scenes of the movies, to me.

                                                                                  All alone by himself, able to express something he would never express when being surrounded by other people, in a way venting his sanity and pulling in the madness through his almost ballet-like dance moves. It's like when you've hit the right amount of drunkenness, where you feel everything upped to 11 and don't feel drunk yet. So intimate. The haunting cello soundtrack, as well as the lighting and particularly the camera work, make this such a special moment. When everything just aligns perfectly.

                                                                                  When I walked out of the theater a week ago I said to my friends:"What you have just witnessed is a performance you only get to see every 10-20 years. We can really feel blessed to have seen this."

                                                                                  • Martin Macdonald
                                                                                    Martin Macdonald  5 days back

                                                                                    Critics say: Joker is a derivative mess that glorifies violence
                                                                                    Critics think: Woke orthodoxy dictates that mentally-ill white males shall have no help or sympathy, fathers are not necessary in their children's lives, eat-the-rich is a noble goal, it's all Trump's fault. I'd better pan this masterpiece.

                                                                                    • Giusy Anastasi
                                                                                      Giusy Anastasi  5 days back

                                                                                      Capolavoro assoluto

                                                                                      • monai
                                                                                        monai  5 days back

                                                                                        I saw this scene and the first word that came to mind was "glory." In this particular moment, I feel like the "Joker" was born. Those larger than life movements AND the way he revels at himself in the mirror, ugh, just brilliant.