Joaquin Phoenix, who won Best Actor last year at Cannes for his performance in filmmaker’s Lynne Ramsay’s drama You Were Never Really Here, has been surprising audiences before or after every showing of the film at the Arclight Hollywood this weekend and he plans to continue to greet moviegoers tomorrow, too.
Deadline was there at the 8:15 PM showing when the actor walked in with the film’s producer Jim Wilson and the shocked audience burst out in applause (see above).
Wilson told Deadline that at one screening they joked around wearing usher jackets and asked people to turn off their cell phones and enjoy the movie.
Besides getting the top accolade for Phoenix at Cannes, You Were Never Really Here also won Best Screenplay at the Festival for Ramsay who also directed the critically acclaimed film about a former military man with PTSD now unafraid of violence who tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe’s nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered. The film is based on the Jonathan Ames’ novella of the same name.
Phoenix and Ramsay did a Q&A in the Dome at the Arclight to a sold out crowd last night and then Phoenix went back to the Arclight Hollywood this AM and has been appearing either before or after every showtime. He did this for all day for all 14 showings and he told us he is going back tomorrow (Sunday) to do the same.
“It’s a way to engage with audiences who are seeing the movie. Usually you do press and do a talk show or something and then that’s it,” Phoenix told Deadline. “It’s nice that people are coming out … I just wanted to support people in coming out and seeing films like this. It’s a way to engage with people. I never had that experience before, and it’s been really fun actually. It’s a special movie and Lynne worked so hard.”
He said it’s really enjoyable: “I’m just saying thanks to people coming to see the film.”
The Amazon-distributed film, which opened solidly in the U.K. last month with a $1.3M run and enjoyed a pre-U.S. theatrical bow at Sundance in January, is debuting this weekend in three locations in New York at Los Angeles. It is playing exclusively at the Arclight.
Having the movie’s star show up throughout the weekend and tomorrow certainly can’t hurt its per screen average in L.A. either.
Here’s the trailer for You Were Never Really Here: