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Joaquin Phoenix SLAPPED Vanessa Kirby during Napoleon filming
Photo: © ANP

Joaquin Phoenix SLAPPED Vanessa Kirby during Napoleon filming

Joaquin Phoenix SLAPPED Vanessa Kirby during Napoleon filming
Photo: © ANP

Vanessa Kirby has revealed that Joaquin Phoenix slapped her during the filming of Napoleon.

The historical epic, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, will be theatrically released in cinemas by Sony before becoming available on Apple+ in November of 2023.

The official premise reads:

'A look at the military commander's origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.'

Phoenix stars as Napoleon alongside Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Ben Miles, Ludivine Sagnier, Matthew Needham, Youssef Kerkour, Phil Cornwell, Ian McNeice, Paul Rhys, John Hollingworth and Mark Bonnar.

Jodie Comer was initially cast as Josephine, but was eventually replaced by Kirby due to scheduling issues caused by the Covid pandemic.

For filming a divorce scene between Napoleon and Josephine, Phoenix and Kirby agreed that they would try and surprise each other in order to keep things fresh as they were using the real words that were said between the pair as part of the script.

"We were using the real words from their divorce in the church. When that happens, you can faithfully go through an archival re-enactment of it and read out the lines and then go home. But we always wanted to surprise each other," Kirby told Empire in a joint interview with Phoenix and Scott.

"It's the greatest thing when you have a creative partner and you say, 'Right, everything's safe. I'm with you. And we're gonna go to the dark places together.'"

Phoenix explained: "She said, 'Look, whatever you feel, you can do.' I said, 'Same thing with you.' She said, 'You can slap me, you can grab me, you can pull me, you can kiss me, whatever it is.' So we had this agreement that we were going to surprise each other and try and create moments that weren't there, because both of us wanted to avoid the cliché of the period drama.

"We encouraged each other, demanded of each other, to challenge ourselves to shock each other in moments. And that's what came out of that, that moment."

Napoleon trailer


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