Joaquin gives credit where it's due.
Sunday evening, Joaquin Phoenix took home the SAG Award for Best Actor for his role in Joker and as he accepted the prize, the seasoned actor used his platform as an opportunity to honor the other actors hosted in the same category while also paying homage to the Joker before him.
“I’m standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger," he would say to begin his speech.
He went on to highlight the talent of fellow nominees such as Leonardo DiCaprio, who was up for his lead role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
"There would always be two other guys that I was up against and we’d always lose to this one kid,” Phoneix reflected. “No actor would ever say his name because it was too much, but every casting director would always whisper, ‘It’s Leonardo' [...] You’ve been an inspiration for over 25 years to me and so many people, Thank you very much."
He moved on by directing his attention to Christian Bale who starred opposite Ledger during his era as Batman. Sunday night, he was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Ford v Ferrari. "You commit to your roles in ways that I can only dream of [...] It’s infuriating. I wish you would, one time, just suck once."
In the end, he would also take the time to congratulate and give proper to relative newcomers found in Adam Driver and Taron Egerton who were both nominated for their roles in Marriage Story and Rocketman, respectively.
"I’ve been watching you the last few years and you’ve been turning in these beautiful, nuanced, incredible, profound performances," he said to Driver. "I’m just so moved by you [...] you should be here.”
He concluded: “Taron [...] you’re so beautiful in this movie and I’m so happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what else you do.”