Joaquin Phoenix fainted while Patti LuPone was filming a particularly intense scene in Beau Is Afraid, director Ari Aster revealed during a Q&A after a surprise early screening of his new comedy-horror-drama.
On April Fool’s Day, audiences thought they were getting a special screening of Midsommar followed by a 10-minute preview of Beau Is Afraid, but instead, they got an entire screening of the new Aster film, which is set to release in theaters on April 21.
In the Q&A moderated by Emma Stone, Aster revealed that Joaquin Phoenix fainted and collapsed into LuPone’s take while he was meant to be off-camera. Phoenix plays the titular Beau in the Aster film, about a man on an epic quest to visit his mother, played by LuPone.
Here’s how Joaquin Phoenix fainted
“There was a scene that was very intense for Patti and it was a shot that was on Patti, it was not on him and all of a sudden he fell out of frame,” Aster said at the screening, according to Deadline. “I was really pissed ’cause it was a really good take. It felt confusing so I went around the corner and he was collapsed.”
“I knew it was bad because he was letting people touch him and people were tending to him and he was allowing it,” Aster added. “The point is that he fainted in somebody else’s take, he wasn’t on camera and he was helping them, he was in it for them to the point where he collapsed. It’s very poetic that he collapsed in somebody else’s shot.”
Aster has previously described Beau Is Afraid as “like a Jewish Lord of the Rings, but he’s just going to his mom’s house.” He’s also expressed his intention to put the audience directly inside the “experience of being a loser.”
Beau Is Afraid arrives in theaters on April 21.
Main Image: Joaquin Phoenix in Beau Is Afraid. Photo credit: A24.