‘They tricked’ Joaquin Phoenix into the Golden Globes press room. He wasn’t pleased

Joaquin Phoenix at the 77th Golden Globes
Joaquin Phoenix at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t expecting to address the press backstage at the Golden Globes on Sunday, but it happened anyway.

Phoenix, who won lead actor in a drama film for “Joker,” said he was tricked into going into the press room under the guise of taking more photos.

“I didn’t know that I was coming up here just now,” said Phoenix. “They ... tricked me. I’m not kidding.”


Follow along for live updates and behind-the-scenes happenings from the team of L.A. Times journalists inside and outside the event.

Jan. 5, 2020

Then, when a reporter asked the actor about his preparation for portraying Arthur Fleck in the Todd Phillips-helmed film, Phoenix seemed exasperated at having to discuss the experience.

“I feel like I’ve talked about this for six months,” said Phoenix. “I feel like I’ve answered these questions. You want to hear a different version of it? I can try and change it slightly, or what should I do?”

He did, however, answer the reporter’s question.

“It was a long process. I think the way that I worked on this was quite erratic. I didn’t attack it linearly,” said Phoenix. “I think I was most curious about the medications that he was taking and the effects — the side effects of those medications that led us toward realizing that we had to have this wild fluctuation in weight. I kind of dug into an understanding of medication and side effects.”

He continued: “I read several books about political assassins that share a similar personality type to what I ultimately defined Arthur with. I’m not going to say who they are because I think those people have already gotten enough attention.”

He also expressed concern for the journalists who spent the evening backstage.

“Is it all right or is it awful?” Phoenix asked the reporters. “Do they bring you food? Do they have drinks?”


Phoenix did find one silver lining for those cooped up in the press room during the ceremony: “There’s more space in here than there was out there.”