I may be wrong, but I think that under the best of circumstances and with the most popular of celebrities Americans don’t really respond well to publicity stunts. Garth Brooks:Chris Gaines comes to mind, and that was mild compared to Andy Kaufmann. When it’s an actor like Joaquin Phoenix- popular and with a decent career but hardly what you’d call iconic or beloved- (more Kaufmann than Brooks) they like it even less. With good reason imo: publicity stunts and performance art are so masturbatory and the market for jerk off videos just isn’t that great.
Ironically it shows his judgment is just as bad as if he had decided to become a rapper. Same with Affleck, whose sexual harassment lawsuits at the same time might deliver some serious career damage.
Not Phoenix, but his aide, who dances around nude.
I loved this movie! It’s pretty obvious that the whole thing is a hoax, a very funny one to me, and I thought that before I read what Casey said.
I had never watched the Letterman interview, partly because I didn’t care enough to seek it out online, but partly because I did care enough in that I like Phoenix a lot, he’s a great actor (indeed!), and didn’t want to see him humiliated. Finally seeing the interview in the context of the film was a revelation. It was SO obviously a put on, so obviously an act, that I wish I had watched it at the time, though I probably would have gone along with everyone else and taken it seriously. If it had not been a hoax, Letterman came off as the real asshole in the interview. I did see Ben Stiller’s parody at the time and was a bit pissed off at him that he would make fun of Phoenix. After seeing the movie, Stiller was in on the joke and was perpetuating it, so I’m not mad at him anymore. Puff Daddy was, IMO, also obviously in on the joke, and he’s a hoot in the movie. With this and Get Him To The Greek, I’ve definitely warmed up to him as an actor. I’ve still never heard any of his music.
I walked out of the movie with a big grin on my face. Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck can have my babies any day. Love 'em madly.
I watched the interview live in the sense that I saw it on TV as it was happening. It was before all the commentary and really, it was Phoenix’s first public appearance since his retirement from acting. That said, as I was watching it did seem obviously like a hoax, there were just little things about it that made the whole thing feel fake. He very calmly would reach for his water several times and he smirked at several of Letterman’s best jokes. When he put the gum under the table, he was very careful not to jam it in there and he removed it almost as soon as he did it. He also visibly broke character right after Letterman’s “I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight.” And at the end, he instantly stuck his hand out to shake with Letterman.
But then Phoenix stayed in that persona 24/7 for over a year. Never again did he break character in public. And because of that, the commentary shifted. All of a sudden, the Letterman interview was someone who was becoming unhinged, but still a little there. He had to stay crazy this long for the hoax to last even a few days.
Ebert has interviewed Casey Affleck about the movie. It turns out Joaquin did break character when the camera was not rolling and they were not in public. He didn’t actually “live the role” for a couple years or anything.
Letterman was definitely NOT in on the joke this time, unlike Andy Kaufman’s appearances.
Uh, okay. And later, you say you didn’t read any blogs or other commentary (really), but FTR, there were a lot of un-nice things said about you. You know, because it looked like your brother-in-law, who you supposedly love so much, was in the same kind of decline that killed his own brother, and you weren’t intervening. In the long run, I think it’s your rep that will suffer, not Joaquin’s.
ETA: I mean, IMHO and FWIW, there has to be something a bit off about people who would want to do this. Neither of you ever better get crossways with the law from now on, or you’re done.