In the past two years actor Joaquin Phoenix has managed to quit acting and take up a new role, as an aspiring rap musician. The Oscar nominee’s “retirement” from acting in 2008 surprised many, and when it was revealed he wanted to become a hip-hop artist many in Hollywood, and Phoenix’s fans, were left wondering what happened to Joaquin Phoenix?
It was unclear if the “Walk the Line” actor was serious about his intentions, or if this was some type of publicity stunt to promote a new movie, or mockumentary, as the actor tried to get a recording contract.
Tuesday afternoon a spokesperson for Joaquin Phoenix announced the actor would be touring to support the premier of his new film in September “I’m Still Here.” The film is the directorial debut for Casey Affleck, brother of actor Ben Affleck, and Phoenix’s brother-in-law and longtime best friend.
While many former co-stars have described Phoenix’s behavior as slightly strange, it was never anything as dramatic as his abrupt retirement. Joaquin started making the rounds in 2008 to support his movie with Gwyneth Paltrow “Two Lovers” sporting a long beard, sunglasses at all hours and shaggy, unkempt hair. Casey Affleck was usually seen following the actor around filming him and acting as a sort of spokesperson leading many to believe he was making a documentary about Phoenix.
Affleck was with Joaquin when he made his infamous appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2009 which increased the talk Phoenix’s strange, erratic behavior was a stunt. The interview with David Letterman was anything but an interview as the actor sat silently for several minutes while Letterman mocked him and his audience laughed not knowing if it was a joke or not.
With the release of the film “I’m Still Here” Joaquin Phoenix also made his intentions known that he wishes to return to acting and is looking at several offers for work, including replacing Edward Norton as The Hulk in “The Avengers.” He has reportedly cleaned up his appearance and started doing interviews again, some say almost as if nothing happened.
Magnolia Films, which bought the rights to the film and will distribute it on September 10th said in a press release the movie was “sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, and always riveting … a portrait of an artist at a crossroads.”
On a related note, there is a rumor going around that Joaquin Phoenix actually did make an album of hardcore rap and hip-hop songs that was produced by P Diddy (Sean Combs) that may or may not be released to coincide with the movie premier.