Joaquin Phoenix is Very Smart

January 28, 2009


File this under: “No Shit.”

Ever since the actor announced he was ditching his career in movies to try to make it as a rap artist, speculation has flown wildly about what, exactly, the two-time Oscar nominee might be thinking. Following his widely panned three-song debut as a rapper at a Las Vegas nightclub on Jan. 16 — a shambling performance that concluded with the actor falling off the stage — two competing theories emerged: Either Phoenix is perpetrating an elaborate Andy Kaufman-style hoax (with an assist from his friend and brother-in-law Casey Affleck, who’s ostensibly shooting a documentary about his career transition), or he’s truly lost his marbles. The truth, it seems, is closer to the former. “He said, ‘It’s a put-on. I’m going to pretend to have a meltdown and change careers, and Casey is going to film it,'” says one source who recently worked with Phoenix.

“It’s an art project for him,” says a source. “He’s going full out. He probably has told his reps that he’s quit acting. Joaquin is very smart. This is very conscious. He has a huge degree of control.” (Source)

Here’s the thing Wack-Keen (the rap name I’m using for you) Kaufman didn’t go blabbing about his every move when he took on a project like this. Do you think Tony Clifton would have been nearly as hilarious or irritating if Kaufman had come and said, “I’m going to retire from acting and work on my music career as an over-the-top, abrasive lounge singer.” The answer is no. If you were truly dedicated to this “act” or whatever the fuck you’re “planning,” you wouldn’t let these things leak. This actually could have been surprising and interesting if you kept your yap shut and really played up the career-switch, drug-addicted-I’m-a-lunatic act. Basically, you lack the balls that Kaufman had to stay dedicated to his characters.

But Casey Affleck still rules.


Casey Affleck to Star in The Killer Inside Me

November 10, 2008


This was some bitchin’ news to start off the week. THR reports that director Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, Wonderland) will be bringing the Jim Thompson’s 1952 noir masterpiece The Killer Inside Me to the screen with Casey Affleck as paranoid-schizophrenic, sociopathic deputy Lou Ford. Jessica Alba is also on board to play Ford’s schoolteacher girlfriend Amy Stanton. The book was previously adapted in 1976 by Burt Kennedy.

I’m not too familiar with Winterbottom’s work, but after Casey’s role in The Assassination of Jesse James, I think he’s got it in him to play Ford (that’s two Ford’s in a row! – he played Robert Ford in Jesse James). He’s one of my favorite working actors but he’ll just have to turn up the evil a few notches. I’m a big Thompson fan and have seen some of the other adaptations of his work: The Grifters, The Getaway (the 1972 version with Steve McQueen), A Hell of a Woman, and Coup de Torchon. Torchon is the most faithful adaption of his work (the book Pop. 1280), and without saying too much, if Winterbottom stays faithful, we’re in for one of the most gruesome murder scenes in cinema history. Read the book.

“You’ve done something pretty bad or you want something bad, and you think, well, if I can just do such and such I can fix it. If I can count down from a thousand backwards by three and a third or recite the Gettysburg address in pig-latin while I’m touching my little toes with my big ones, everything will be all right.”

– Lou Ford, “The Killer Inside Me”