Heath Ledger may be gone, but is certainly not forgotten. Joaquin Phoenix made sure of it!
On accepting the award for Best Actor for Todd Phillips’ Joker at the Screen Actor Guild Awards 2020, Phoenix made a few very special mentions, out of which his heartfelt mention to late actor Heath Ledger, who portrayed the iconic comic book villain Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight, takes the cake.
“Really, I’m standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger,” the Joker star said paying a heartwarming tribute to Ledger who tragically passed away the same year The Dark Knight released due to an accidental overdose.
Phoenix also gave a shoutout to his fellow nominees, including Once Upon A Time In Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio saying, “There would always be two other guys that I was up against and we’d always lose to this one kid…every casting director would always whisper, ‘It’s Leonardo,’” he said, making the audience burst into laughter. He further added, “You’ve been an inspiration for over 25 years to me and so many other people.” He also spoke about Ford v Ferrari star Christian Bale saying “he never turns in a bad performance and it’s infuriating.”
He called Adam Driver’s performance in Marriage Story “devastating” and further said, “Adam I’ve been watching you the last few years and you’ve been turning in these beautiful, nuanced, incredible, profound performances. I’m just so moved by you…you should be here,” and told the Rocketman Taron Egerton “I’m so happy for you…you’re so beautiful in this movie [Rocketman] and I’m so happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what else you do.”