By Elizabeth C.
WE’LL HAVE TO FORGIVE JOAQUIN PHOENIX’S DISCOMFORTURE INSIDE his own skin. The critically acclaimed actor has a penchant for putting a foot in his mouth, most recently when he lambasted the race for the Oscars as “utter bullshit…the stupidest thing in the whole world.”
Phoenix made the comment to Interview during a chat to promote his self-abnegating role as the aimless itinerant Freddie Quell in The Master, a role for which he’s expected to receive an Oscar nomination.
The twice-nominated Academy Award actor disappears as he morphs into the volatile but interiorly trapped Quell. He prepared for the role by watching videos of doomed animals in neglected zoos and pounds — ”Gnarly, nasty zoos where there’s a gorilla or a pound where you see dogs that are skinny and broken and look like they have mange and are half-crazy and mostly terrified. We really just wanted to capture that.”
He says the role “was perfect for me at the time, because that was kind of the approach that I wanted to be taking in acting as well: to not know what it is and to give in to the moment.”
Phoenix’s diss of the Oscars game had more to do with own withering self-criticism and his indifference to external praise. But the comments created such a buzz that in an interview with Sydney Morning Herald, he backtracked on his “bullshit” Oscar claims, saying, “I guess I sound like a dick.”
“I didn’t even know that I was in a position to do something that would cost me something. But I know that first of all, I wouldn’t have the career that I have if it weren’t for the Oscars. I haven’t been in a lot of movies that have made a lot of money … And getting nominated for a movie has probably helped my career tremendously. But in some ways it’s the antithesis of what you want to be as an actor. You’re always trying to free yourself of the artifice, which is really difficult. Especially when you suck, like me….’It’s not like I f—ing hate the Oscars … It doesn’t occupy my time to where I can build up hate. What I was reacting to was sometimes the reverence that we have about these things. I don’t want to revere it.”
It’s not just winning awards that he disdains; it’s himself too, as he tells the Sydney reporter, “I’m still crap,” and asks, “Do you hate me?
Let’s give the guy a break because he will never give himself one.
Via Vanity Fair.