At long last, Joaquin Phoenix has made a public appearance to tell his version of what that whole hip-hop documentary mess was about. Appearing clean-shaven and back to normal on Letterman Wednesday night, Phoenix apologized to Letterman for any offense caused by his previous interview in February of 2009. In that interview, Phoenix appeared in character as a mumbling, monosyllabic drug user who had apparently given up his acting career to pursue life as a hip-hop artist. As was revealed earlier this week, it turned out the entire 19-month ruse was a stunt to promote Casey Affleck’s mockumentary about Phoenix’s invented alter-ego.
Now, the two-time Academy Award nominee says that the awkwardness of that interview should have been a tip-off, and in a thinly veiled insult he told Letterman, “I assumed that you would know the difference between a character and a real person.” Ouch.
As we all suspected, the official word has finally come out: Â the whole “I’ve given up acting and I’m now a hip-hop star” weirdness from Joaquin Phoenix was all part of something he calls “performance art” and the rest of us call “being a jackass for no reason.” Â Casey Affleck, younger brother of Ben Affleck, directed the film I’m Still Here, documenting Phoenix’s alleged transformation into a king of the hip-hop lifestyle. Â The film got a lot of negative criticism, and even more people worried that Joaquin Phoenix was in need of an intervention. Â Affleck now says that he assumed people would have known the movie was a fake, but claims that it was not a hoax, it was just actors doing their job – acting. Â Joaquin Phoenix is due to be on Letterman tomorrow night, and after having shown up as his hip-hop character for a previous Letterman interview, Phoenix has quite a lot of explaining to do tomorrow.
As if things weren’t strange enough with this business of Joaquin Phoenix allegedly giving up acting to become a rap star, there’s now an impostor running around the Toronto Film Festival, posing as Phoenix and sneaking his way onto the red carpet. Â The identity of the impostor is not known, but given Phoenix’s recent grooming choices, pretty much any homeless guy probably could have pulled it off.
Personally, I think the whole thing is a little suspicious. Â There’s already a lot of mystery regarding the documentary that Phoenix is showing at the festival, which details his efforts to move into the world of hip-hop performance. Â Some say the whole thing is a fake, and if it’s just a publicity stunt, then an staged impostor drama would fit right in with that. Â I guess we’ll have to wait and see how things unfold.
Was he “acting” or is he bananas? Joaquin Phoenix’s appearance on David Letterman the other night has tongues wagging about what the heck is wrong with the dude! Punk on Letterman for the benefit of brother-in-law Casey Affleck’s documentary on Joaquin? Is Joaquin really quitting acting to become a rapper?! (That HAS to be a punk!) No matter what, it’s worth watching just for the sheer whackiness!