Joaquin Phoenix's rules for acting

The three-time Oscar-nominated actor doesn’t have an acting process—or at least not one he’s able to articulate or wants to share. On "Salon Talks" Joaquin Phoenix unpacked his roles in a string of anticipated 2018 films: a traumatized veteran in Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” a paraplegic in Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” and Jesus Christ in Garth Davis' "Mary Magdalene." Getting into character is “a process that I don’t really understand,” Phoenix admitted on "Salon Talks."

"I rarely even remember why I chose to do something," Phoenix said. "I try not to make rules about the character." Even if he does prepare ahead of time, imagining what a movie set will be like and then actually experiencing the set on the day of the shoots often makes what he had in mind for the character, impossible. "If I ever go onto set and try to use one of those ideas that I've consciously had, it's always really bad. Without fail," Phoenix said. He says he focuses now on possibilities for the character and allowing actual decisions to happen "in the experience."

Watch the full interview to hear more about how Phoenix brought the character of Joe to life in "You Were Never Really Here" and how he conceptualizes the violence in the film. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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