Photo Credit: John Parra/Wireimage
After more than a year of bizarre behavior and a practically unrecognizable look, Joaquin Phoenix's jig is up. In a new interview with the New York Times, Casey Affleck, director of the documentary I'm Still Here, which stars Phoenix, admits that the actor's crazy antics were all an act.
"It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career," Affleck said.
Phoenix appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in February 2009, where he chomped on gum, wore sunglasses and mumbled about retiring from acting. In the months following, the Walk The Line star performed in various clubs as a rapper, and continued to raise eyebrows, all while being followed by Affleck's cameras. While there was speculation from the beginning that Phoenix's new persona was put-on, he submersed himself in the role and continually stuck to his story that this was his new life.
"I never intended to trick anybody," Affleck said of the Phoenix ruse. "The idea of a 'hoax' never entered my mind."
Affleck, who is married to Phoenix's sister, said he wanted audiences to "experience the film’s narrative, about the disintegration of celebrity, without the clutter of preconceived notions."
"We wanted to create a space," he added. "You believe what’s happening is real."
We've got to admit, we're relieved to find out that the actor's behavior wasn't real. Now maybe the Oscar winner can go back to acting in roles that don't turn us off quite as much.
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