‘Joker’: Check out the playlist Joaquin Phoenix listened to while getting his iconic make-up done

From Rex Orange County's woozy indie-pop to the catchy hip-hop bangers of Brockhampton

“The first moment I met Joaquin [Phoenix], he said to me, ‘I’m really sorry, I know I can be difficult but don’t take it personally: it’s not you, it’s me, and I just want to apologise in advance.”

Those are the words of make-up designer Nicki Ledermann, head of the department in charge of creating (and applying) the Joker‘s iconic look for last year’s origin story about the Clown Prince of Crime.

“He doesn’t like to be touched. He doesn’t like to be wrangled. He doesn’t like to be manhandled,” says Nicki. “As an actor you do get wrangled and manhandled all the time.


“Not just by make-up but also by wardrobe, hair, the PAs who have to bring you to set. It’s really hard for him because he’s not that kind of a person. There are other actors who love that – they love the attention, they love to be catered to and they love to be pampered. Joaquin is not like that at all.”

In order to create a calm and comfortable environment, Ledermann turned to music. “I pride myself on always having the best music,” she says. “Joaquin and I always had a little music on, it was mixed stuff – from old ’70s songs to modern stuff to be inspired. It’s a very eclectic playlist. I’ll send it to you!”

True to her word, Ledermann dropped the public Spotify playlist into NME‘s inbox. It’s stuffed with a smorgasbord of genres: from the peaceful Scandi-pop of Sigur Ros (‘Sæglópur’) to Fatboy Slim’s soulful dance banger with Macy Gray, ‘Demons’. There’s even a jazzy French number from Paris-born troubadour Madeleine Peyroux.

Listen to the public playlist via Spotify and check out the full tracklist below.



Emmit Fenn – ‘Painting Greys’

Lamb – ‘Wise Enough’

Tyler, The Creator – ‘FUCKING YOUNG / PERFECT’ (Feat. Toro y Moi, Kali Uchis, Syd & Charlie Wilson)

Jetta – ‘I’d Love To Change The World’

Sigur Ros – ‘Sæglópur’

Mellow Fellow – ‘How Was Your Day?’ (Feat. Clairo)

Ennio Morricone – ‘Sospetti e tenerezze’

Fatboy Slim – Demons (Feat. Macy Gray)

Marius Furche – ‘Mad World’ (Instrumental Mix)

Ben Howard – ‘Small Things’

The Walters – ‘I Love You So’

Rex Orange County – ‘Sunflower’

Midnite – ‘For His Speech’


The Marias – ‘Bast Ya’

boy pablo – ‘Everytime’

Greg Laswell – ‘Days Go On’

Ginger Taylor – ‘Scar’

The Guess Who – ‘Laughing’

Gary Glitter – ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll (Part 2)’

White Rabbit – ‘Mayssa Karaa’

The Marias – ‘Only In My Dreams’

Faithless – ‘Muhammad Ali’

Gabriel Yared – ’37°2 le matin’

N.E.R.D. – ‘Lemon – Drake Remix’

Cosmo Pike – ‘Great Dane’

Madeleine Peyroux – ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’

Daniel Caesar – ‘Best Part’ (Feat. H.E.R.)


Manu Chao – ‘Bong Bong’

‘Joker’ will be available on 4K, Blu-ray, Limited Edition Amazon Exclusive 4K & Blu-ray Steel Book, Limited Edition tradewide 4K & Blu-ray Steel Book, and DVD on February 10. Get it on Digital Download now