The A24-distributed film, directed by Ari Aster, follows a “mild-mannered but anxiety-ridden” man named Beau Wasserman who finds himself on a Kafkaesque odyssey back home in the wake of his mother’s death, according to IMDB.
In an interview with Fandango published Friday, Phoenix advised against having mushrooms before watching the dark comedy horror movie from the “Midsommar” filmmaker.
“I was told from someone in college that there was this college thread amongst friends, a challenge they were going to take mushrooms and go see this movie. And I just wanted to make a public service announcement and say, do not take mushrooms and go see this fucking movie,” Phoenix told the publication.
He later quipped: “But if you do it, film yourself. But don’t do it!”
Phoenix, who recommended seeing the film in IMAX, told Fandango that he was “definitely squirming” in his seat while watching himself in the movie for the first time. He said the film is one “that you feel.”
“First of all, I’m just laughing about the entire fucking movie,” Phoenix said. “There’s a couple of sequences where I’m just squirming – I mean, stuff that [Aster] did with the sound design, it was really great.”
“It’s such a rich world, and there’s so many details to see in it. It is a hundred percent a movie that you feel. There’s so many rich, complex themes in this film, but it’s such a visceral experience to watch it. Then you leave, and when that feeling subsides, you start thinking about it.”
Phoenix shared more about how he prepped for a tough scene in an interview on A24’s podcast. His solution: a sudden scream on set before they started.
“I just started screaming, just the most intense guttural pain scream that I could before we were shooting sitting there because I had to just fully humiliate myself,” he said. “And then just go like, okay, well once that’s happened, you can’t look any more stupid than you do now.
Check out HuffPost’s Candice Frederick’s take on the film here.