Brian Tyree Henry has earned acclaim on the big screen with supporting performances in adult dramas like “Widows” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” but he’ll soon be lending his talents to major Hollywood tentpoles like “Joker” and “A Quiet Place 2.” Both films are being kept under lock and key by their studios, but that didn’t stop Henry from sharing enticing details about each during an interview with Observer.
Speaking about “Joker,” the Todd Phillips-directed comic book film starring Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s iconic villain, Henry said the film “really goes into just the origin story” and doesn’t concern itself with Bruce Wayne/Batman. “Villains are never born that way, they’re made,” he said. “There’s something that happens in their lives that they give up their faith in humanity; they see the flaws of humanity and mankind and feel like they must correct it. And what happens with ‘Joker’ is you start to see how he really was a happy person. He really was trying to find this hope in humanity until it broke him down and he just had to give up and reshape it.”
Henry said the defining relationship in the film is between Phoenix’s character, Arthur Fleck, and his mother, played by Francis Conroy. Warner Bros.’ official “Joker” trailer showed Arthur caring for his elderly mother and stoked fears that her death in the film might tip Arthur over to the dark side.
“There’s going to be a connection [made] about a boy and his mother,” Henry said. “That is another thing that you’re going to see — that he was capable of love at some point. But, at the end of the day, I think it’s all about how he was made that way, how he didn’t start being that kind of person.”
As for “A Quiet Place 2,” the sequel to John Krasinski’s horror blockbuster, Henry couldn’t reveal much other than teasing the story will find the surviving members of the Abbott family “finding out that they’re not the only ones.” Original actors Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe are all returning for the sequel. Details about Henry’s character have yet to be revealed.
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The actor also teased, “I think that we’re also going to get a few answers to the origin of where and how this whole thing happened. I think that people want to know that. But I think you’re just going to see another side of it…more of humanity that survived this thing in this next story.”
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“Joker” opens in theaters nationwide October 4, while Paramount has already set “A Quite Place 2” for May 15, 2020.