Joaquin Phoenix Talks Losing Weight For 'Joker'

Joker transformation. Joaquin Phoenix lost 24 kilograms for the role of a dream

Last week, Russian moviegoers filled cinemas across the country. This time, the reason was the spectacular Joker, directed by Todd Phillips. In addition to a new interpretation of the already existing story of the villain, the audience's interest was riveted by the impressive performance of Joaquin Phoenix. It turned out that for the sake of the main role, the actor had not only to rehearse crazy laughter for months, but also to rapidly lose 24 kilograms.

The painful thinness of the hero named Arthur makes the image of a person who received psychological trauma in childhood and carried it through the whole life even more convincing. The Joker's internal and external weakness is, in fact, the deciding factor. Therefore, Joaquin's diet was a prerequisite for the contract between the actor and the director. Phoenix dreamed of playing a cult character, first thinking about it back in 2014, and immediately agreed to the role.

We found out what happened to the actor in the pre-filming period. And to figure out why such a grueling transformation is dangerous to health, we talked with a wellness coach, an expert of the Championship Andrey Semeshov.

Meals for 300 calories a day

The process of losing weight turned out to be the most difficult period for Phoenix in preparation for filming. According to Joaquin, he tried to consume no more than 300 calories per day. At this rate, in a few months he lost 24 kilograms. And this is in his 44 years! Recall that the initial weight was about 70 kg with an increase of 173 cm.

However, our expert believes that it is hardly possible to voluntarily hold out on 300 calories a day for more than a couple of days.

Andrey : You need to understand that such calorie content is literally hunger. Of course, there are certain protocols of medical fasting that exclude food for more than a month, when people only keep on water. But, as a rule, such practices are carried out in a hospital and certainly under the supervision of medical workers.

If an actor lost 24 kg in a couple of months, then it turns out that on average it took three kilograms a week. Obviously, such a rate of decline is too, to put it mildly, hasty. Best practice is 0.5 to 1 kg per week, depending on the severity of the initial situation.

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In turn, Joaquin Phoenix assures that he passed the real test. For the diet, he had tobrief meetings with loved ones only due to the fact that at the same time they almost always had enticing dishes on the table. He also stopped watching TV, as advertisements for high-calorie foods were systematically shown there. Phoenix used to eat apples, lettuce and asparagus steamed with vinegar.

In an interview for Kinopoisk, the actor said: I don't see the difference between work and life. My whole life turned into work, especially when I went on a diet. You don’t even realize how much our social life revolves around food and drink.

Health and mental problems

It's no wonder Joaquin started having health problems following this lifestyle. As the actor himself said, he began to experience difficulties with concentration: while reading the script, letters blurred before his eyes. He needed to gather strength even to overcome the flight of stairs. In addition, Phoenix admitted that he also felt bad mentally:

Our expert considers that mental and health problems were really real and even expected due to a sharp weight loss.

Andrey: I'm not surprised that the actor, sitting on such an extreme calorie content, began to notice mental disorders. The Minnesota Hunger Experiment is widely known, during which many volunteers needed the help of a psychiatrist. And there, by the way, the diet averaged 1500-1600 kcal. Just compare this with the declared 300 kcal from Joaquin Phoenix. Of course, we are all designed with a large margin of safety and are well adapted to fasting. However, I am sure that such experiments on ourselves are fraught with a reduction in the years of our life allotted to us.

Recovery after filming

After finishing the work on the cult film, Joaquin certainly stopped chasing thinness and returned to the old way of life. Now with the state of health of the newly-made Joker, everything is in order. The wellness coach is confident that a gradual increase in calorie intake and a return to a normal balanced diet will help the actor recover. But because of the previous grueling diet, there is a risk not only to return all the lost pounds, but also add a few more.

Andrey: Consulting, I always set people up that losing weight should not be a rapid process. It's sad (and bad!) When it turns into a yo-yo effect. Threw off 10 kg - after gaining 12 kg. For health, this is even more dangerous than constantly being in a stable, albeit overweight, weight. According to statistics, out of 10 who have lost weight, 9 in a year and a half return to their previous weight. The chances of success are higher for those who lost weight smoothly and measuredly. If you are not losing weight for rowhether in the film, but in order to live and enjoy a new body, then tune in to the fact that it will take time.

We sincerely hope that Joaquin Phoenix did his best for the role, because the film turned out to be very impressive. Nevertheless, we strongly advise against trying to repeat such an experiment on your body. Lose weight wisely and be patient with non-instantaneous progress.

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