Joaquin Phoenix affected the story of “Napoleon” in more ways than one.
Director Ridley Scott revealed in an interview with Empire that his frequent collaborator is often responsible for almost entirely rewriting movies they work on.
“Joaquin is about as far from conventional as you can get. Not deliberately, but out of intuition. That’s what makes him tick. If something bothers him, he’ll let you know,” Scott said. “He made [‘Napoleon’] special by constantly questioning.”
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In fact, the team significantly changed the movie based off of feedback from the lead actor.
“With Joaquin, we can rewrite the goddamn film because he’s uncomfortable. And that kind of happened with Napoleon,” he continued. “We unpicked the film to help him focus on who Bonaparte was. I had to respect that, because what was being said was incredibly constructive. It made it all grow bigger and better.”
Teasing a bit of the actor’s interpretation of the historical figure, the director wanted viewers to be prepared for another stunning performance from the Oscar winner.
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“With Napoleon, I think we dug in and found the character, or as close to what he may have been. Joaquin is probably the most special, thoughtful actor I’ve ever worked with,” he added.
The film is a war drama focusing on the French historical figure Napoleon Bonaparte, including his rise to power and personal life.
“Napoleon” is expected to come out in 2023.