'The Dark Knight' actor Eric Roberts calls 'Joker' ‘nasty’

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2 min read
Eric Roberts had mixed feelings about Joker (Image by Warner Bros)
Eric Roberts had mixed feelings about Joker (Image by Warner Bros)

The Dark Knight actor Eric Roberts has criticised Joker, while at the same time praising Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the titular villain.

Roberts told NME that Phoenix gave “one of the most fun performances” he had “ever witnessed,” something that the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences firmly agreed with as they gave him the Best Actor Oscar for his turn in the film.

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Roberts, who played gangster Sal Maroni in the 2008 blockbuster, even insisted that he “loved [Joker] visually,” too. But it was at this point that he admitted he founds its story “just nasty.”

“I did not love the story,” he continued. “But that’s because I’m an actor. I live in hope, and that guy was not hopeful.”

Eric Roberts was a big fan of Joaquin Phoenix's performance as Joker, though. (Image by Warner Bros)
Eric Roberts was a big fan of Joaquin Phoenix's performance as Joker, though. (Image by Warner Bros)

It was at this point that Roberts spoke about the differences between Phoenix and Heath Ledger’s portrayals of the Joker, admitting that he saw similarities between their characters, even though the films themselves were very, very different.

“Both those guys got the bone marrow of that guy, but they both had different blood types, if you know what I mean by that. One’s an O-, one’s an O+ and they can’t be similar except in the make-up really.”

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“Even the make-up was different, but it was reminiscent so you saw it as kind of related. They’re both genius performances, and they’re both genius actors and we unfortunately lost one.”

Of course, Ledger’s Joker performance in The Dark Knight was just as lauded as the one Phoenix gave in Joker, as it earned him the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2009 Academy Awards.

Unfortunately, Ledger wasn’t able to pick up accolade himself, as he died at the age of 28 on 22 January, 2008, just a few months before The Dark Knight was actually released.