The set of Joker is apparently a pretty special place. Interest has been understandably high for Warner Bros.’ one-off comic book adaptation, which aims to tell the origin story of the titular Batman villain in a unique fashion. Joaquin Phoenix is in the title role, and the story takes place in seedy 1981 New York City, with director Todd Phillips putting his own spin on the comic book adaptation genre. But interest in the film got even higher when the full cast was announced and it was revealed that Shea Whigham, professional scene-stealer, was part of an impressive ensemble that also includes Bill Camp (The Night Of), HBO staple Glenn Fleshler (Barry), and Frances Conroy, not to mention previously announced co-stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron.
While we’ve seen some tantalizing photos, we still don’t know too much about what to expect from Joker. So when Collider’s own Christina Radish spoke with Shea Whigham in anticipation of the upcoming Amazon Prime series Homecoming, she asked what he could tease about the project. The Boardwalk Empire actor had nothing but praise for the film’s star and Phillips’ take on the material:
“We’re in the middle of it, right now. It’s intense. For me, it’s as good as it gets. I’m flowing back and forth between television and film, and it’s not lost on me, to work with Joaquin [Phoenix] and to see what he’s doing. And Todd Phillips has put this amazing script together It’s the origin story. People haven’t seen how the Joker becomes the Joker, and oh, my God, man, it’s incredible. It really is.”
While Whigham couldn’t reveal too much, he did offer up where he and Bill Camp fit into the story and said the filming experience itself has been special:
“I’ll say this, Bill Camp, from The Night Of, is one of our great actors. He’s finally getting his due. He and I play two cops from Gotham P.D., in 1981 when the city was tough. We’re investigating something that’s just happened, at the start of the piece. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it, and it leads to where it leads to. You know, it’s rare that I’ve been on a set where it feels like it crackles. It’s pretty amazing . . .I want to have an experience. I don’t call it a job. I don’t say that I have a job. I have a gig, or a piece, or a film, or a show, but it’s never a job . . . We’re having an experience on Joker.”
That’s certainly tantalizing, but we’ll have to wait until the film hits theaters on October 4, 2019 to get the full picture.
Look for our full interview with Whigham on Collider soon.