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Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker

Since Joker debuted at the Venice Film Festival in August, Todd Phillips’ movie has been riding a continous wave of success. The drama based on the Clown Prince of Crime has won over a majority of critics, over $1 billion in box office earnings and now British royalty.

During Sunday’s British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) at Royal Albert Hall in London, Prince William and Kate Middleton were in attendance as usual to celebrate the biggest night in movies across the pond. Following the ceremony, the prince had the chance to speak with Joaquin Phoenix about his adoration for Joker. In Prince Williams’ words (via People):

Lovely to meet you. I absolutely loved The Joker. It was brilliant. I put it off and put it off before watching it, as people kept telling me ‘be careful when you choose to watch it.’ I’m glad I didn’t watch it before bed, but huge congratulations on an amazing performance.

Well, this is adorable. Prince William admitted to Joaquin Phoenix that it took some time for him to decide to sit down and watch Joker after some warnings. But once he did, he was just as captivated as the much of the world seems to be over the gritty character study. He didn’t end up watching it before bedtime and he stands by that decision.

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During the BAFTAs, Prince William gave opening remarks to the room full of stars and filmmakers about the conversation of diversity that surrounded this year’s nominees lacking non-white actors or female directors. He said the discourse “simply cannot be right in this day and age” and announced the voting process would be revised for next year.

Joaquin Phoenix echoed the prince’s sentiments when he was honored for Best Leading Actor at the ceremony. As he stood on stage, he expressed feeling “conflicted” about his win when the award show sent a “very clear message” that people of color were “not welcome”. Check out his full speech below:

During Joaquin Phoenix’s exchange with Prince William after the ceremony, the Joker actor told the Queen’s grandson ”thank you for your speech”. Just as Joker led the Academy Award nominations with 11 nods, the movie had the same amount of nods at Sunday’s BAFTAs. Besides Joaquin Phoenix’s win, the film took home awards for Best Original Music and Best Casting.

At the ceremony, 1917 was awarded the most BAFTAs including for Best Sound, Best Special Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Outstanding British Film and Best Film. Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite was just behind Joker for two wins for Best Original Screenplay and Best Best Foreign Film.

Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend as award season concludes this Sunday with the 92nd Academy Awards.

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