In advance of the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival at the end of the month, Phoenix has begun promoting the new DC movie, with a newly released photo of himself transformed into the Clown Prince of Crime and an interview where he revealed the real-world origins of his unnerving cackle as the Joker.

“I started [with the laugh],” Phoenix explained in a translated interview from Il Venerdi, the weekly magazine of the popular Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “I watched videos of people suffering from pathological laughter, a neurological disorder that makes individuals laugh uncontrollably.”

Joaquin and director Todd Phillips revealed a little more about what fans can expect from the movie.

“It’s not a superhero movie, a super villain or a human being with special powers,” Phoenix said to the outlet, explaining that it will be something much different.

Director Todd Phillips explains that the movie will explore systems of power, revealing circumstances that would force a person to rise up and fight. According to the outlet, Joker will not have any an enemy per se but will instead “a competitive and violent American company of the 1980s.”

“With this film, we are not inviting people to rebel. But let’s try to explain why people could, or should, start a revolution,” said Phillips.

Sources: cbr.com / comicbook.com