Beau is Afraid: New Joaquin Phoenix film is so ‘intense’ actor ‘fainted’ midway through scene

·2 min read

The new film from Hereditary and Midsommar director Ari Aster has debuted.

Titled Beau is Afraid, the film stars follows Joaquin Phoenix’s “paranoid” lead character as he ”embarks on an epic odyssey” to get home to his mother, who is played by Patti LuPone.

Those who had bought tickets to see the director’s cut of Aster’s previous film, Midsommar, in Brooklyn, New York were surprised to discover they were actually about to watch the first screening of his new film.

The “nightmare comedy: has been branded “demented” and “uncomfortably hilarious” in first reactions from those in attedance.

Beau is Afraid, which has a running time of three hours, was followed by a Q&A with Aster led by Emma Stone.

During this conversation, Aster revealed that one “intense” scene resulted in Phoenix passing out.

“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, adding that he “was really pissed ’cause it was a really good take”

Deadline reports the director as saying: “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 said that “the point” of the story ”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.”

Joaquin Phoenix in ‘demented’ new movie ‘Beau is Afraid’ (A24)
Joaquin Phoenix in ‘demented’ new movie ‘Beau is Afraid’ (A24)

Beau is Afraid is released in the US on 21 April, and a UK release will follow on 19 May.