Over the course of his long career, Joaquin Phoenix has played some of the most iconic and talked about roles that Hollywood has to offer. Everything from the man in black himself, Johnny Cash, to an upcoming turn as the clown prince of crime. Joaquin Phoenix has played a cast of characters so diverse that it’s hard to believe he’s even a real person sometimes. A collection of people seems far more apt. All housed within a single body. He’s gone from traumatized veteran to a hopeless romantic living in the solitude of the digital age and back again. So let’s use the Myer-Briggs type indicator to get a better peek underneath the hood of his many diverse characters.
8 Johnny Cash (Walk The Line) - ISTP
Johnny Cash, the man in black as he was called. One of the greatest country musicians of all time. Cash was an incredibly talented musician, but more than that he was a dedicated student of the craft. While Cash could have easily mastered any number of things due to his hardworking nature and laser-focus, there are certainly many people grateful that he picked a guitar. Cash is straight talking and a man that does not know to beat around the bush. Often times knowing exactly what he wants and heading straight for it. Regardless of what that may mean for the people left in his wake.
7 Bobby Green (We Own The Night) - ESFP
When audiences are first introduced to Bobby Green they meet a charismatic, vivacious, and impulsive man with many friends and many problems. While his father and brother are more rigid and structured, Bobby is more prone to going with the flow. He’s a man of the people. Always ready to make a good friend out of a bad situation. His interpersonal skills have gotten him a long way on the wrong side of the law, but a long way nonetheless. Bobby is exactly the type of man the Russian mob would hire to run their club. And their drugs. Unfortunately for Bobby, and his father, he’s never been so great with thinking about the long-term consequences of his actions.
6 Theodore Twombly (Her) - INFP
Throughout the course of Spike Jonze’s brilliant exploration of love during the technological age, viewers get a very up close and personal look at one, Theodore Twombly. Theodore is an incredibly sensitive and sweet individual, albeit with emotional baggage of his own to deal with. He spends his days writing love letters for and to people he’s never met. Theodore builds their story from random photos, memories, old letters, and weaves them into something beautiful and memorable.
Like many introverts, Theodore spends more time focused on his phone than he should. Isolating himself in an already lonely world. A struggle many introverts may recognize.
5 Larry “Doc” Sportello (Inherent Vice) - ENFP
Quirky, stoned, and constantly stumbling in and out of trouble, Larry “Doc” Sportello is a private investigator in search of an ex-girlfriend who may or may not be in some serious trouble. Doc is the kinda guy who stumbles onto the right clues simple by connecting with the right people seemingly out of complete coincidence. As Doc gets closer and closer to the truth and the conspiracy surrounding it, the only thing the stoned investigator seems to be doing with any real planning behind it is getting high. Yet somehow as the investigation reaches its conclusion Doc has managed to not only find the answers he was looking for, but get them without aimlessly wandering into his own coffin.
4 Commodus (Gladiator) - ENFJ
Commodus likely says it best himself when discussing a letter written to him by his father that detailed four virtues: wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Four virtues that Commodus himself admits he does not have. However, Commodus goes on to describe the virtues he does have. Virtues including ambition, resourcefulness, courage (not on the battlefield, but there are, as he says, other types of courage.), and lastly, devotion to family. It’s important to note that Commodus has this discussion with his father after being denied emperor. It’s a discussion that leads Commodus, in a moment filled with rage and anguish, to end his father's life. Commodus is often ruled by his emotions and rather than thinking through his action carefully, he makes quick, impulsive, and destructive decisions.
3 Charlie Sister (The Sisters Brother) - ESFP
While his brother Eli is definitely the more controlled of the two, Charlie Sister is more known for giving into his chaotic nature. Charlie is often shown as the impulsive brother, always ready for a drink or a fight. Charlie may not be the friendliest of the two brothers, but he has no problems finding people to surround himself with. The problem, however, comes when Charlie feels the need to push away these people. Charlie has an impulsive nature and often follows his heart at a moments notice.
While spontaneity and fluidity can often be an admirable trait, there are moments when control over one's impulses can mean the difference between life and death as Charlie and Eli discover.
2 Joe (You Were Never Really Here) - ISTJ
Like many introverted thinking types, Joe from You Were Never Really Here is not great when it comes to expressing his emotions. In fact, while the entire movie clearly visualizes Joe’s trauma and PTSD, there is not a single line of dialogue from him or anyone else that even mentions it. Rather, audiences are left to witness the actions and habits of a man suffering through life on a daily basis. Joe is very controlled, he has rules, habits, and codes that he lives by. And while his trauma takes a toll on him every day, he gives very little thought or attention to what he’s feeling, instead of focusing on outside stimuli to keep him distracted or soothe him.
1 Joker (Joker) - ENTP
While Joaquin Pheonix’s turn as the clown prince of crime has only appeared in a few trailers as of yet, there are plenty of aspects of the Joker’s character from previous film iterations to the source material, there are plenty of common factors. For instance, the Joker, almost without effort seems to be able to pull in people to his cause, regardless of how it might endanger their lives. Despite his many claims to be an agent of chaos, Joker often puts a lot of effort into hatching his devious schemes. While he may not be as structured and disciplined as Bats, there’s certainly a method to his madness.