One of the best actors of his generation, the 42-year-old JOAQUIN PHOENIX, was on the verge of destroying his career. However, the "Hollywood’s biggest washout" has just won the Palme d’Or for Best Actor at the Cannes Festival. He boldly made a fool of the celebrity culture and proved that people will believe in anything the media tell them is true.
In an interview for the Interview magazine, Phoenix expressed his opinion on the Oscars and did it bluntly. “I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. Being nice to everyone, charming them, taking compliments, this is all disgusting,” he stated. He also added that it was one of the most uncomfortable periods of his life when he got nominated for the role of Johnny Cash and “Walk the Line” was going through the awards process. “It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot,” the actor added. These words sparked controversy, but it seems like the actor likes them. And it’s not the first time he has shocked the filmmaker’s environment.
In February 2009, his name made the headlines after his appearance in the famous David Letterman’s “Late Show.” He simply looked and behaved badly. The interview was interrupted by long moments of silence, the actor appeared to forget the name of his “Two Lovers” co-star, Gwyneth Paltrow, stuck gum out under Letterman’s desk, and finally fell asleep. Some people immediately suggested the whole situation was a joke and a cynical provocation. The actor strongly denied that, though, “I have better things to do than just, like, mess around with people. This is my life and this is my work.”
"When I’m working on a role, I take myself completely out. I become the character I’m playing."
”I don't walk around like I'm a movie star because I don't think of myself as a movie star. People usually don't even seem to notice me.”
At that time he also announced that he was quitting acting and moving to the countryside to concentrate on a career as a... hip-hop musician. Someone even put on the Internet a low-quality video with Phoenix’s performance in Las Vegas. In 2010, the actor arrived at the Venice Film Festival looking just like in “I’m still here,” a film that features the Oscar-nominated actor Phoenix himself and is directed by his brother-in-law and friend, Casey Affleck. The film documents the beard-wearing Phoenix and his spectacular fall to the ground. The critics said that the documentary is so intimate and depressing, it’s hard to even watch it. Soon after that, in a New York Times interview, Affleck admitted the film was a well-planned hoax. A lie the entire Hollywood believed in.
“I wanted to show how easy it is for the media to manipulate people today. And that the whole celebrity culture is a big lie.” This is how Phoenix explained his behavior during his return visit on the Letterman’s show. “I was convinced no one would take my declarations of ending my acting career seriously, because why would they? All of the sudden it turned out to be the news that got everyone in the world talking. Then it hit me that people will believe anything as long as the television tell them it is true. ”People speculated that he won’t get away with this and that his arrogant move would cost him his acting career. They were wrong, though.
In 2012, he co-starred with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film “The Master.” The character of Freddie Quell turned out to be groundbreaking for Phoenix. None of his previous roles — not even of the villain in the “Gladiator” or Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line” — was as hypnotizing as the role of the unpredictable and psychologically wounded war veteran. The actor admits that when he was preparing for the role in this film, he physically became the character; he embraced his limitations and leant that anything is possible in this profession. The uncompromising nature of the character he created is perhaps so credible because it’s surely not alien to him. The attempt to remain independent and not trapped in the world of the Hollywood society requires courage and an uncompromising character. Mocking the existing rules could have ended up in a disaster, which, in the case of Joaquin Phoenix, didn’t happen. Perhaps he will fool everyone again? One can never know with him.
One can never know, for instance, whether the actor will appear at an award ceremony. However, he did make an appearance at the closing ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival this year. And he was with Rooney Mara whom he has been supposedly dating for some time now. The actor won the Best Actor Award for his role in the movie “You Were Never Really Here” directed by Lynne Ramsay, the creator of “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” What’s important in this film, besides the criminal intrigue, is the portrait of a traumatized main character—Phoenix is aloof, gloomy, and complicated. Well, he has this gift of seducing even though he’s not really playing good-looking men. It’s enough to visit some forums for film lovers to read what his fans say about his talent: “Even if his acting is half-ass, like in ‘Irrational Man’. Even when he’s physically unattractive and sports a bum style. I love him.”
The best movies and awards
1999 “8MM” 2000 “Gladiator” (Oscar nomination) 2005 “Walk the Line” (Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Oscar nomination) 2012 “The Master” (Oscar nomination) 2013 “Her” 2014 “Inherent Vice” 2015 “Irrational Man” 2017 “You Were Never Really Here” (Palme d’Or for Best Actor)