In one of the strangest celebrity stories of 2008, Joaquin Phoenix abruptly announced he was quitting acting to pursue a career in music -- and not in a guitar-strumming, Johnny Cash way, but as a rapper, with his first album to be produced by Sean Combs.
Only adding to the strange nature of this story is the announcement that Phoenix's career makeover will be documented by his friend and fellow actor, Casey Affleck. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck is helming a documentary that will begin shooting this Friday at Phoenix's first public performance at a Las Vegas club.
It's difficult to say whether this will be cinematic and music genius in the making, or a celebrity trainwreck of epic proportions. Phoenix is a talented actor, but the decision was fairly erratic and bizarre, no matter how you look at it. Check out the video below for one of our favorite awkward moments regarding the announcement, in which a reporter from E! Online doubts Phoenix's sincerity:
While it's admirable that his friend is supporting him, choosing to do it documentary-style just adds another level of unreality to the saga. I'm sure this isn't the last we'll hear of Phoenix -- and who isn't going to be watching to find out what that Friday performance brings?
So, will it be a reinvention of rap as we know it, or will Phoenix announce he's leaving music for movies?