The post Joaquin Phoenix Slapped Vanessa Kirby in Napoleon After They Agreed to “Shock Each Other” on Set appeared first on Consequence.
Come November, Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby will appear as Napoleon Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais in Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, an epic retelling of the life of the French leader. In order to avoid making another generic historical drama, however, the stars agreed to “shock each other” while filming the movie — which led to Phoenix going off script and slapping his co-star during a take.
Fortunately, Phoenix had Kirby’s consent to get physical on set. “She said, ‘Look, whatever you feel, you can do,’” Phoenix recalled in an interview with Empire Magazine. “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. And by that I mean moments that are well-orchestrated and designed.”
For Kirby, going off script allowed the actors to keep Napoleon fresh, despite having a fair amount of records detailing their characters’ real lives. “We were using the real words from their divorce in the church,” she said. “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.”
Adde Kirby, “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.’”
Napoleon hits theaters on November 22nd, before streaming exclusively on Apple TV+. Following the film’s release, Phoenix will return to Gotham City for Joker: Folie à Deux, due out next year.
Joaquin Phoenix Slapped Vanessa Kirby in Napoleon After They Agreed to “Shock Each Other” on Set
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