Ari Aster got down on his hands and knees and begged Joaquin Phoenix to be in Beau is Afraid
Ari Aster has revealed that he begged Joaquin Phoenix to play the lead role in Beau is Afraid.
Aster has two feature films under his belt so far as writer/director - Hereditary and Midsommar - both of which received acclaim from critics as well as being hits at the box office.
Beau is Afraid has been in production for three years and the official premise reads:
'Beau Is Afraid is described as a decades-spanning surrealist horror film set in an alternate present in which Phoenix plays an extremely anxious but pleasant-looking man who has a fraught relationship with his overbearing mother and never knew his father. When his mother dies, he makes a journey home that involves some wild supernatural threats.'
As well as Phoenix in the title role, the movie features an ensemble cast including Nathan Lane, Richard Kind Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini and Zoe Lister-Jones.
And, Aster had been keen to work with Phoenix for years.
"You get on your hands and knees and beg," Aster recalled of his first meeting with the Academy Award winner.
"He's the best. He's the greatest. He's the prince. And those eyes. He could be so naked, so exposed, and he's funny. He's a funny guy."
The Hereditary director says it was Phoenix's performance in I'm Still Here that made him realise he needed to work with the actor.
"It's when I first saw 'I'm Still Here' that I knew I needed to work with this guy," he said at the premiere of Beau is Afraid.
"One, it's such a funny film, and two, that performance is really a brilliant comic performance. But it's also a gesture that movie is suicidal. What he was doing with his own name there is so funny and crazy and sick. It's like a sick thing to do. Since then, I've known I've wanted to work with him."
Beau is Afraid trailer
Beau Is Afraid
Comedy / Horror
2023 • 178 minutes