“It’s like a Jewish Lord of the Rings, but he’s just going to his mom’s house.” That’s how Ari Aster describes Beau Is Afraid, his upcoming comedy-horror-drama starring Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role.
“I want to put you in the experience of being a loser,” the director adds.
Here’s what else Ari Aster has to say about Beau Is Afraid
He opened up about the film’s creation in A24’s behind-the-scenes first-look video posted to the studio’s YouTube channel on Wednesday. “
“I’ve been thinking about this movie for, like, 10 years,” Aster says. “There’s a part of me that can’t believe we’re making this film.”
This is the same Ari Aster who directed both Midsommar and Hereditary, some of the most beloved, disturbing, and terrifying horror movies in recent memory.
So when he calls Beau Is Afraid “epic” and “jumbo,” I tend to believe him.
“Every detail has a detail inside of it,” he says in the video.
And if the Jewish Lord of the Rings description didn’t floor you, this description certainly will: “If you pumped a 10-year-old full of Zoloft and had him get your groceries, that’s like this movie.”
Also Read: How They Did It: Seamless Stunt Work and Smartly Drawn Shot Lists Fueled The Mountaintop Sequence in Midsommar
Basically, Aster wants to insert audiences directly into the story.
“I wanted to make a film where it feels like you’ve been through a life, or even through a person,” he says. “I feel a great responsibility to deliver something amazing.”
Aster recently told The New York Times that his aim is for Beau Is Afraid to make audiences laugh — but he deeply appreciated Phoenix taking the part so seriously.
“It was the best experience of my life,” Aster said. “But it also taught me how I want to work in the future — the seriousness with which I expect an actor to approach any given part.”
Of Aster, Phoenix said: “We certainly laughed a great deal. What do they call it? Gallows humor. The characters are going through such trauma, you haven’t a choice but to find something funny about it.”
Beau Is Afraid arrives in theaters on April 21.
Main Image: Joaquin Phoenix in Beau Is Afraid. Photo Credit: A24