“The first moment I met Joaquin [Phoenix], he said to me, ‘I’m really sorry, I know I can be difficult but don’t take it personally: it’s not you, it’s me, and I just want to apologise in advance.”

Those are the words of make-up designer Nicki Ledermann, head of the department in charge of creating (and applying) the Joker‘s iconic look for last year’s origin story about the Clown Prince of Crime.

“He doesn’t like to be touched. He doesn’t like to be wrangled. He doesn’t like to be manhandled,” says Nicki. “As an actor you do get wrangled and manhandled all the time.

“Not just by make-up but also by wardrobe, hair, the PAs who have to bring you to set. It’s really hard for him because he’s not that kind of a person. There are other actors who love that – they love the attention, they love to be catered to and they love to be pampered. Joaquin is not like that at all.”

In order to create a calm and comfortable environment, Ledermann turned to music. “I pride myself on always having the best music,” she says. “Joaquin and I always had a little music on, it was mixed stuff – from old ’70s songs to modern stuff to be inspired. It’s a very eclectic playlist.”

Check out the playlist:

Read more at NME.