And here… we… go!


Five years after the project was first imagined, Joaquin Phoenix brought to life Gotham’s most infamous clown to cinemas in the gritty character study Joker.

But this wasn't a version of the comic book villain we’ve seen on screen before. Rather than focusing on his battles with Batman, the film by director Todd Phillips focused solely on the downward spiral of Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos.

And here’s something that’ll put a smile on that face: according to the critics, the film delivered on this intriguing premise, its stars delivering pitch-perfect performances.

Phoenix himself also went on to win an Academy Award for his performance as the failed comedian.

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But who exactly are in the cast and characters of Joker? Here’s all you need to know…

Joker 2019 cast: Full list of characters

Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck/Joker


Who is Arthur Fleck? Rather than the classic super-villain who tumbled into a vat of chemicals, Joaquin Phoenix plays a version of the Joker not seen in the comics. For starters, Phoenix’s character actually has a real name: Arthur Fleck.

Fleck is described as a “mentally ill, impoverished stand-up comedian disregarded by society”.

Losing 52 pounds for the role, Phoenix has said Fleck’s signature chuckle was based on videos he watched of people suffering from pathological laughter, a neurological disorder that makes individuals laugh uncontrollably.

What else has Joaquin Phoenix been in? Joaquin Phoenix (pronounced HWAK-in Phoenix) has starred in a string of Hollywood films, playing Johnny Cash in the biopic Walk the Line, Emperor Commodus in Gladiator, Theodore in Her and Freddie Quell in The Master.

Robert De Niro plays Murray Franklin

Who is Murray Franklin? Franklin is a talk show host who plays a key role in Arthur’s downfall.

What else has Robert De Niro been in? One of the legends of Hollywood, the two-time Oscar winner has enjoyed roles in The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Silver Linings Playbook, Joy, Stardust and The Deer Hunter. And yes, he also played the dad in Meet the Parents/Fockers.

De Niro was also the lead in the Martin Scorsese films The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver, both of which helped inspire the film, Joker.

Zazie Beetz plays Sophie Dumond


Who is Sophie Dumond? Dumond is a cynical single mum who becomes the romantic interest of Arthur Fleck. Does she return his feelings?

What else has Zazie Beetz been in? A relative newcomer to the screen, you probably know her as a lucky superhero Domino in Deadpool 2. Beetz has also had roles in the Netflix anthology series Easy and Donald Glover's comedy-drama Atlanta.

Frances Conroy plays Penny Fleck

Frances Conroy plays Penny Fleck joker

Who is Penny Fleck? Penny is Arthur’s very frail mother who is obsessed with the Wayne family.

What else has Frances Conroy been in? Best known as matriarch Ruth Fisher from Six Feet Under, you may have also seen Conroy in American Horror Story, Arrested Development and How I Met Your Mother.

Marc Maron portrays Gene Ufland

Who is Gene Ufland? Ufland is a producer on Murray Franklin's show

What else has Marc Maron been in? Sam from Netflix’s GLOW: that’s where you know him from. But if you don’t recognise him from the wrestling drama, you may also know the comedian from his own TV series Maron and his many stand-up specials.

Brett Cullen plays Thomas Wayne

Actor Brett Cullen

Who is Thomas Wayne? Only the father to future Batman Bruce Wayne, Thomas is a billionaire philanthropist running for mayor of Gotham.

What else has Brett Cullen been in? Apollo 13, Lost, Narcos, Desperate Housewives, Ghost Rider, Person of Interest: Cullen has appeared in them all – albeit in minor roles.

Interestingly, Cullen has previously starred in the Batman universe, appearing as Congressman Byron Gilley in The Dark Knight Rises

Douglas Hodge plays Alfred Pennyworth

Who is Alfred Pennyworth? Alfred is the iconic Wayne family butler and an ally of Batman, the character recently played by Jeremy Irons in the DCEU and Michael Caine in the Chris Nolan Batman trilogy.

Who is Douglas Hodge? Black Mirror fans will recognise Hodge as Rolo Haynes, the owner of the Easter Egg-packed Black Museums. Elsewhere, he’s starred in The Night Manager, Red Sparrow, The Report, Catastrophe and Skins.

Brian Tyree Henry plays Clark

Brian Tyree Henry attends the premiere of the 3rd season of FX's "Atlanta" at Hollywood Forever on March 24, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

Who is Clark? Clark is an attendant at Arkham State Hospital.

What else has Brian Tyree Henry been in? Henry has appeared in television series such as Atlanta, Boardwalk Empire, How To Get Away With Murder, and This Is Us. He has also appeared in films such as Widows, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Woman in the Window, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Godzilla vs. Kong and as the hero Phastos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Eternals.

Dante Pereira-Olson plays Bruce Wayne

Dante Pereira-Olson plays Bruce Wayne
Dante Pereira-Olson (front) plays Bruce Wayne

Who is Bruce Wayne? Silly question. Yes, it’s the Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman. However, don’t expect any grappling gun/utility belt action from Joker’s child-age version of Bruce.

What else has Dante Pereira-Olson been in? Although most will recognise the child actor as Gerry Scaramucci from comedy-drama Happy, Pereira-Olson also played a young version of a certain Joaquin Phoenix in the 2017 film You Were Never Really Here.

Joker was released on 4th October 2019 in UK cinemas.


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