Casey Affleck Has Admitted Joaquin Phoenix’s Documentary is a Fake
On Thursday, actor-turned-director Casey Affleck has finally admitted to what many critics (and also viewers) suspected all along: his documentary about Joaquin Phoenix was a fake.
The “Ocean’s Thirteen” star told the New York Times that the strange behavior of Joaquin Phoenix is a put-on, staged for the documentary on which he directed, “I’m Still Here,” and for Phoenix’s infamous 2009 awkward appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Although previously Affleck denied the rumors by telling reporters at the Venice International Film Festival that “there is no hoax,” later on after admitting the stunt, he praised Phoenix’s ‘cover’ by saying, “It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career.”
In connection with Letterman, Affleck stated that the talkshow host was not aware that Phoenix was faking instability while on the air for an uncomfortable interview segment. But on the other hand, Phoenix’s agent, Patrick Whitesell at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, was in on the joke.
“I’m Still Here” followed Phoenix as he announced he was retiring from acting and launching a rap career. The “Walk the Line” star transformed from a clean-cut actor into a bearded, druggy rap wannabe two years ago. It captivated viewers at the Venice International Film Festival this month, with some critics called it a fascinating look at celebrity.
In the movie Phoenix is at times funny and coherent and at others childish, aggressive and paranoid as he struggles to live with his decision in 2008, which the media greeted with breathless disbelief, to give up acting and take up hip-hop. The film includes footage of him apparently taking drugs, surfing the Internet for call girls, hosting prostitutes, diving off a stage to attack a heckler and vomiting.
The documentary gives clear indications that it was a “mockumentary” poking fun at a narrow-minded public. But defending his work, Affleck said, “I never intended to trick anybody.” Phoenix, whose sister Summer is married to Affleck, is due to return to “The Late Show with David Letterman” next week — and Affleck said this time he would not be in character.
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