After two years of freaking out fans with his bizarre antics, Joaquin Phoenix's disturbing behavior has been unveiled as nothing more than an intense commitment to his latest role.
Phoenix, who grew a ratty beard, embarked on a hip-hop career and fumbled his way through awkward interviews, such as his infamous 2009 sit-down with David Letterman, has apparently just been getting crazy for his recently released movie "I'm Still Here."
"It's a terrific performance, it's the performance of his career," director Casey Affleck told The New York Times on Thursday (September 16).
After much speculation (and mostly negative reviews), Affleck owned up to the ruse of the flick and revealed that most the film was fake. The filmmaker described how footage of Phoenix and his siblings frolicking in Panama were actually actors swimming in Hawaii, with the film later doctored to look aged. Affleck also revealed that disturbing moments in the movie in which Phoenix appears to live it up with prostitutes and drugs were created with the help of actors.
Affleck revealed that the actor's agent was even in on the stunt and agreed to cooperate after the director detailed his plan to show the world Phoenix "has lost his mind," noting, "You would think he would have me killed immediately."
Many moviegoers will perhaps question why Affleck and Phoenix went to the trouble of staging what appeared to be a meltdown of an Oscar-winning A-lister instead of just openly shooting a mockumentary and calling it a day. Affleck explained that the duo wanted viewers to believe they were indeed witnessing the fall of a great star.
"We wanted to create a space," he said. "You believe what's happening is real."
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