Entertainment behind the scenes
But is he all there? Really all there.
He quit a golden Hollywood career because he was bored. He thought movies weren’t interesting anymore. He didn’t have anything else to learn. And today, Joaquin Phoenix has re-emerged in the trailer of a new “documentary” called “I’m Still Here” that is directed by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck. The documentary tells about Phoenix’s supposed attempts at a transition to a career in hip hop. We wrote about it here and here. Surely, we think, it’s more mockumentary, something on the order of “This is Spinal Tap” that sends up the entertainment industry. Tellingly, it was “written and produced” by both Affleck and Phoenix. Then again, who are we to say he’s lying just because what he has done seems so odd. One never really knows, and “odd” is rather normal in Hollywood. You can watch the trailer — and judge it — for yourself below.
In interviews, despite a bizarre, mumbling shaggy-haired appearance on David Letterman that baffled many, Joaquin Phoenix coherently insisted to all in promoting his last film in 2008, “Two Lovers,” that he was indeed quitting acting (he still has no more movies announced). And yes, absolutely and convincingly, he said he was pursuing a career in hip hop. And yes, there was Affleck right on hand to tape all media interviews with Phoenix. (Note: we politely said “no” to being taped for a possible spoof, much to Affleck’s annoyance.)
The slick new trailer for “I’m Still Here”, which seems to suggest the movie is no slouch in the usually low-budget “doc” arena, shows Phoenix the actor going from Hollywood photo shoots, red carpets, limos and jets to a pot-bellied (no 50 cent abs for him) singer backstage and hip hop wannabe onstage. The trailer is accompanied by a dramatic score and voiceover that compares him to “a mountain top water drop” who doesn’t “belong to this valley, this river”.
It gets funnier — or darker, depending on your point-of-view. Affleck is now facing claims of sexual harassment from two women, one from the cinematographer and one from a producer who worked on the film.
Hollywood’s own Billy Bob Thornton, who has embarked on a music career with his band the Boxmasters, sat down on Wednesday for an interview with CBC Radio in Canada, and tried to get away with acting like he has never been in a movie. Odd, perhaps, for a man who was Oscar-nominated for best actor twice and won an Oscar for writing “Sling Blade.”
In the interview, which the public radio network has put online, host Jian Ghomeshi introduced Thornton’s band, in which Thornton plays the drums and sings, and talked about Thornton’s “other job” as an “Oscar-winning screenwriter, actor and director.” From there, it was all downhill as Thornton simply did not want to talk movies and seemed to take offense that he was anything but a musician, first and foremost.
Who does supposedly retired actor Joaquin Phoenix think he’s fooling?
The star of films “Two Lovers,” “We Own the Night” and “Walk the Line” took the stage at a Miami club on Wednesday night with another opportunity to show the world his hip-hop chops, now that he has announced his retirement from acting for an “extreme makeover” to pursue a career as a rap artist.
But instead of getting the celebrity blogosphere chattering about his mad skills as a rapper, Phoenix won headlines for jumping into the crowd to go after a heckler. Phoenix performed in the same look — shaggy beard, business suit and shades –that he sported in his much maligned appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” on Feb. 11, when he managed the odd trick of seeming spaced out and confrontational at the same time.
But maybe Phoenix is angling to have the last laugh with his professed retirement from acting to take up a career in hip-hop music?