Ari Aster ventures into new territory with Beau Is Afraid. Based on a 2011 short film he developed into a feature, Beau was shelved while Aster went on to make horror hits Hereditary and Midsommar. Now A24 brings us Aster's long-standing passion project, which he has previously described as "like a Jewish Lord of the Rings, but he's just going to his mom's house." Aster has grown a bit of a rabid fanbase since hitting the scene hard in 2018 with his feature-length directorial debut. When it comes to fans of Aster's horror films finding something to latch onto in his third feature, Aster isn't worried about it. "Look, it's still very much a movie made by the guy who took a little girl's head off. Unmistakably."
You heard it here first, folks. Now don't go losing your heads, Hereditary fans will have plenty to enjoy in the wild world of Beau.
Beau star Joaquin Phoenix embarks upon one hell of an adventure in the movie, which undoubtedly also requires an emotional journey for Phoenix. But "going there" emotionally for the role is something Phoenix wouldn't trade. "I guess I enjoy it. Romantic comedy seems boring. I can't imagine spending three months shooting something that just doesn't feel like it has a lot of substance," the actor responds when asked whether he'd have any desire to do something lighter for a bit of an emotional palate cleanse.
"But I don't know. Maybe it would be enjoyable. But I think for me sometimes, honestly, I sort of dislike the entire machine of making movies so much that if I didn't have to really be focused and feel like there was something at stake, whether there is or not, that's what I would have to convince myself of, I just probably wouldn't show up. I think if I did a romantic comedy after a week, I'd just be so fucking bored."
As for whether or not tackling roles requiring deep focus and emotions takes a toll, Phoenix says, "I mean, I think your body doesn't really know the difference between imagined horror and something it's really experiencing. I think a lot of times, you probably do take on some of that anxiety. Not in some fucking bullshit method way, but just the nature of it. I know the same thing for Ari, right? When you're talking about these things, inevitably, it has an impact on you. But, honestly, I enjoy it. I enjoy pushing myself. High-stress situations are enjoyable to me."
Beau Is Afraid is now in theaters.