Ari Aster’s third film, Beau is Afraid, opens next month and the anticipation is running high. With only Hereditary and Midsommar to his credit, Aster has established himself as a must-see filmmaker already, and when you add Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix to the mix it’s clear why A24 has such high hopes. And if things go as well as expected, it’s unlikely to be the last time that Aster and Phoenix work together.
Aster spoke to the New York Times about Beau is Afraid, spending the bulk of the interview praising Phoenix to the moon…
“Joaquin is ruthlessly investigative,” Aster said. “If something feels false or not right, he won’t be able to do it. It’s not even about him refusing to do something — his body will stop him.”
Aster loved working with Phoenix, calling it “the best experience of my life. But it also taught me how I want to work in the future — the seriousness with which I expect an actor to approach any given part.”
Things went so well that Aster is already looking toward the future. He has a new project in development that will also star Phoenix, and it will “almost certainly” be in the Western genre. That’s pretty intriguing, but Aster’s background in horror and black comedy could work well in a Western, too.
Fortunately, the feeling is mutual between Phoenix and Aster, with the actor saying…
“Sometimes it’s as simple as: I could be around you for four months because I like the way you talk about these characters, and I can see that you have a willingness to push yourself, and to be pushed and to push back, and that’s exciting to me.”
Beau is Afraid opens in theaters on April 21st. Check out a new BTS featurette below.