The famously eccentric star used his speech to discreetly apologise to Joker director Todd Phillips, adding that he is “so indebted” to the filmmaker.
“Todd, you were such an amazing friend and collaborator and you convinced me to do this movie and you encouraged me to give everything and to be sincere,” Phoenix said. “I am such a pain in the ass and I can’t believe you put up with me.”
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Phoenix also used his acceptance speech to express his love for girlfriend Rooney Mara, and clarify his reputation in Hollywood.
“Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat,” he said. “But the boat has been rocked.” He then urged his fellow actors to “make some changes”, adding, “We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs.”
This weekend, it was alleged that Phoenix’s behaviour on the set of Joker drove a crew member to quit the film in protest.
During a presentation ahead of the Golden Globes, and tweeted by journalist Will Mavity, it was claimed that Phoenix “fought to try and do all his makeup himself” because he “didn’t like being touched”. A crew member in charge of scene-to-scene continuity departed the project as a result.
Phoenix is said to have blamed his behaviour on being so hungry due to depriving himself of food in order to look skinny for the role.
Keep up with all our Golden Globes coverage on our live blog.