When Joaquin Phoenix took on the role of Jesus in the new film “Mary Magdalene,” he did many of the expected things: Grew long hair, adopted an intense and otherworldly stare, even meditated on a mountaintop.But there was one thing he would not do.Near the beginning of “Mary Magdalene,” which opened Friday in the United States, the script called for Jesus to heal a blind woman by rubbing mud in her eyes, an echo of John’s Gospel. (It’s a blind man in the Bible, a blind woman in the film.)”I knew about that scene from the Bible, but I guess I had never really considered it,” Phoenix told CNN in a recent interview.”When I got there, I thought: I’m not going to rub dirt in her eyes. Who the f*!# would do that? It doesn’t make any sense. That is a horrible introduction to seeing.”The Bible doesn’t fully explain why Jesus used mud or clay to heal the blind, though some experts say it was a common practice among first-century healers.In “Mary Magdalene,” Phoenix decided to go with his gut, licking a mudless thumb and gently rubbing the woman’s eyes.”It freed me up, in some ways, to discover what is truthful in the moment,” he said. “That moment is not so much about a real miracle. It’s about someone who has been dismissed by society finally being seen, embraced and encouraged to join the broader community. To me, that is a miracle. There’s something profoundly beautiful about that sentiment.”That humanistic message captures the essence of “Mary Magdalene,” a film that aims for historic fidelity in some respects, but whose emotional and intellectual currents are radically contemporary.

Read more at CNN.

The actor, known for his roles in movies such as Gladiator and Her, said it would be “tragic” if modern movements don’t ensure women’s achievements are remembered in the future. But, he added: “It’s about who’s in power, right?”

Phoenix was speaking to Newsweek about his role in biblical drama Mary Magdalene, released in theaters April 12 and on demand April 19. Phoenix plays Jesus Christ, a role he was initially hesitant to take. In the end, the untold story of an apostle falsely remembered as a sex worker won him over.

To prepare for the role, he said he focused on Christ as a man and a teacher, not as an impossibly famous religious figure. “I feel like everybody that achieves a certain level of notoriety of fame gets warped [into a caricature],” he said. “I think it’s a disservice, definitely in this case.”

Like director Garth Davis (Lion) and co-star Rooney Mara (Lion, A Ghost Story), he was shocked by the story depicted in the film; that Mary Magdalene was not the sexualized character often imagined—a prostitute, or even Jesus’ wife, if you’re a fan of Dan Brown—but a witness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

“In America, we don’t acknowledge the profound effect Mary and these other unnamed women [who attended the crucifixion] had upon this radical, rebellious, f***ing awesome, kick-ass movement,” he said. “When I heard about that I started thinking, literally how could we not know about this?”

Commenting on the Gospel of Mary—an early Christian writing, rediscovered in 1896, that many scholars believe concerns Mary Magdalene—he said: “Why was Mary’s book not included in the Bible? The stench of blatant sexism becomes, you know, inescapable.”

Read more at Newsweek.

The director of “Joker” Todd Phillips, today shared in his instagram the first official poster of the movie and the information that tomorrow will be released the first teaser trailer!

Marc Maron, who plays Ted Marco in the upcoming film, spoke to New Musical Express about his experience working on Joker. Maron, who admitted to being somewhat apathetic toward superhero films, stated that he was persuaded to get involved with the project after discovering that Joaquin Phoenix was attached to star.

He then compared the film to those from Marvel Studios, suggesting the project was aiming for depth rather than spectacle.

“The approach that Todd Phillips has taken is more of an origin story and a character study of a mentally ill person that becomes The Joker,” he said. “It’s more of an intimate and gritty movie with a very specific scope. It’s going to be really interesting to see how it comes out.”

Maron also briefly described his experience working with Phoenix, revealing that the actor had evidently remained in character the entire time.

“I didn’t really get to talk to him because he was pretty immersed in The Joker,” he recalled. “I was just like, ‘I’m not gonna bother that guy’. That was fine. You just gotta respect people’s process.”

Source: cbr.com

After disappearing from the U.S. release date calendar in the wake of allegations leveled against The Weinstein Company founder and producer Harvey Weinstein, Garth Davis’ historical look at the life of Mary Magdalene has found a new home at IFC Films. “Mary Magdalene,” the “Lion” director’s second film, stars Rooney Mara in the eponymous role as one of Jesus’ closest confidants, with Joaquin Phoenix playing Jesus and Chiwetel Ejiofor appearing as Peter. Mary Magdalene” was originally set to be released by The Weinstein Company in March 2018, before founder and producer Weinstein was hit with multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, leading to the dissolution of the boutique distributor (which is now owned by Lantern Capital). The film premiered at the National Gallery in London in February 2018, and it was released in the UK in March 2018 by Focus Features. IFC will release the film in the U.S. this spring, with an April 12 release date already lined up.

Read more at indiewire.com