Earlier today, the 26th SAG Awards took place giving each actor and stuntman their much deserved award for their outstanding performances in their respective movies. As little surprise, Joaquin Phoenix won the award for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role” for Joker. During his acceptance speech he took the time to congratulate his fellow nominees for their work as well. Telling anecdotes on how Leonardo DiCaprio took the casting business by storm and how Christian Bale has never sucked at a single role. He also spoke to Taron Egerton for his amazing performance in Rocketman and to Adam Driver showing respect for his “moving performance” in Marriage Story.
After congratulating them, he made a brief but significative shout out showing respect to his “favorite actor”. This was to no other than the Joker himself: Heath Ledger. Phoenix explained how his performance in Joker stands on Heath Ledger’s shoulders and how much he meant for Joaquin.
It’s great to see how actors pay respect to each other and how each take inspiration from one another. At the end of the day, they are still people and still look at celebrities like movie stars doing amazing stuff in amazing movies. Having Phoenix mention Heath Ledger during his acceptance speech was completely unexpected and touching. Especially given the fact that Heath Ledger won the Oscar for Best Actor in the 2009 Academy Awards for his performance as The Clown Prince of Crime in The Dark Knight. The same rola Joaquin reprised in Joker, it’s pretty cool how the Joker just payed tribute to the previous Joker, it’s also worth mentioning that Ledger’s performance is still talked about to this day as the best Joker performance ever and possibly the best performance in a comic book movie.