The 37-year-old royal met with the movie’s star, Joaquin Phoenix, backstage at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday (02.02.20) following the 45-year-old star’s win for Leading Actor and heaped praise on the film and his performance.
However, William joked he was glad he hadn’t watched it too late in the evening as it could have given him nightmares.
The prince – who is President of BAFTA – said: “Lovely to meet you. I absolutely loved ‘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.”
In return, Joaquin thanked the prince for his speech at the ceremony, in which he called out the lack of diversity in the nominees.
He simply told William: “Thank you for your speech.” William – who was joined at the event by his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – had commented on the lack of women and actors of colour who had been shortlisted for awards when he took to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Taking to the stage to present Kathleen Kennedy with the BAFTA Fellowship, he said: “We find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to address diversity in the sector. That cannot be right in this day and age. I know Pippa [Harris] and Amanda [Berry] share that frustration.
“BAFTA take this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations have launched a full review…to ensure the opportunities are available to everyone.” In his own acceptance speech, the ‘Walk the Line’ actor also shone a light on the issue. He said: “I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight, BAFTA has always been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative.
“But I have to say that I also feel conflicted, because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here.”
Joaquin admitted he could do more to ensure the films he works on are “inclusive”, but urged everyone to do the same.
He added: “This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure the sets that I work on are inclusive, but I think that it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural.
“I think that we have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think that it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it.”—AP