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Joker: Joaquin Phoenix Kicks Back In Behind-The-Scenes Set Photo

Playing DC Comics' Clown Prince of Crime really takes it out of a guy. 

Over the weekend, director Todd Phillips shared a photo of Joaquin Phoenix relaxing in between takes on the set of Joker, the forthcoming film in which Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, the struggling comedian who eventually turns to a life of villainy and becomes the Joker after he loses his confidence (and his marbles, for that matter) following numerous unsuccessful stand-up sets. 

The picture, posted to Phillips' Instagram account, shows the back of Phoenix's head (his normally brunette hair is painted forest green), the top part of his face (which has been blanked out using white paint and features two red lines brushed across his forehead, a red circle of paint adorning on his nose, and blue paint brushed across his eyelids and eyebrows), and his feet (resting amongst a stack of magazines on what looks like a desk). 

In character as the Joker, Phoenix wears a candy-apple red suit and tawny dress shoes. As himself, the Oscar-nominated actor known for Her and Walk the Line and a host of other feature films, Phoenix smokes a cigarette and looks up at the ceiling. 

"On set. Five minute break," Phillips captioned the photo, taken by renowned film documentarian Niko Tavernise. 

This new snap is the latest in a string of teases Phillips has shared across social media. Implementing an approach similar to the one director Ron Howard took with Solo: A Star Wars Story, Phillips has been an open book, offering fans multiple glimpses at the so-called "gritty character study" and "cautionary tale" while filming has taken place. Whether the filmmaker is simply excited to show off Joker in any capacity he can, or if he's trying to assert as much ownership over the movie and control to the best of his ability the manner in which photos and videos from behind the scenes find their way online, Phillips' marketing M.O. is nonetheless refreshing. 

So often, fans have had to wait what feels like forever to get even a tiny taste of an upcoming film (looking at you, literally every single Marvel Cinematic Universe entry). That Phillips has been generous with fans — himself sharing the very first looks at Phoenix and his co-star Zazie Beetz in character, as well as a video of Phoenix doing his Joker makeup test and a photo of him frowning in a green afro wig and clown shoes — is a welcome change to all the closed doors, shrouded details, and secret-keeping prevalent in Hollywood — and especially in the comic book movie-making world. 

This certainly won't be the last sneak peek at Joker that Phillips will share. Look forward to a lot more teases — plus posters and trailers! — in the months leading up to Joker's release on October 4, 2019.