Lynne Ramsay struggled to contain her excitement before shooting 'You Were Never Really Here' with Joaquin Phoenix.
The 48-year-old director - who previously helmed 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' - has admitted she relished working with the American star, who plays a hired gun who rescues trafficked girls, in the thriller film.
She shared: "[Joaquin] is such a special guy, and I can't imagine anyone else in it now. Or, I don't know that I ever did - before I'd even written scene one, I had his photo on the table thinking, 'He's in it!'"
Lynne explained that Joaquin, 43, really invested a lot of himself into his on-screen character.
And the director feels that the Hollywood star's preparation is apparent in his performance.
Speaking to Den of Geek, she explained: "We spoke a lot. We tried to take away anything that felt a bit cliched. It's based on quite pulpy, film-noir material - although really well written by Jonathan Ames - but how do we evolve it? How do we make it modern? It became more and more about this man's world, you know?
"I think just having him there was like having the Joaquin Phoenix acting department and camera department - having him there for that intense prep was what made it.
"He really built his character, he was getting [physically] bigger. The way he walked - it was like he was becoming a beast in front of me, and I was reacting to that in the script."