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The Atlanta Reunion You Likely Never Noticed In Joaquin Phoenix's Joker

The two actors from “Atlanta” who star in “Joker” are Zazie Beetz and Brian Tyree Henry, who play Vanessa “Van” Keefer and Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, respectively, in the HBO show. Van is the on-again, off-again love interest for Earn (Donald Glover). The two have a daughter named Lottie, and though she and Earn are no longer together, she allows him to stay at her apartment sometimes — as long as he is able to provide financial support for Lottie.

In “Joker,” Beetz plays Arthur Fleck’s neighbor and eventual love interest, Sophie Dumond. Like Van, Sophie is a single mother trying to make it on her own in the big city, and throughout “Joker” she and Arthur begin to form a romantic relationship. However, it’s revealed later in the film that this relationship is all a figment of Arthur’s imagination, and that he has actually been stalking Sophie for months. 

This culminates in a truly horrific scene in which Arthur breaks into Sophie’s apartment and sits on her couch, waiting for her to come home. Sophie finds him there and asks him to leave, clearly frightened out of her mind by the stranger who just enters her apartment unannounced. Beetz delivers yet another fantastic performance despite her limited screen time, and the palpable fright on her face when she finds Arthur on the couch further reinforces just how crazy he really is.

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