File this one under: “well, duh”. It turns out that Joaquin Phoenix‘s hilarious decision to quit acting and become a rapper was indeed a put-on. The very public nervous breakdown will be featured in a mockumentary directed by Casey Affleck.
In October 2008, Phoenix said “Bye! Good” to his acting career and announced an imminent transition to the world of rap. The actor’s brother in law Casey Affleck confirmed that Phoenix was for real.
Then, in mid January 2009, it was revealed that Affleck would direct a documentary chronicling Phoenix’s attempts at carving a hip hop career for himself.
As the world attempted to process this very bizarre news, Phoenix’s seeming insanity only increased, the highlights being a mid-performance meltdown and a (now infamous) appearance on David Letterman.
At this point, it should be noted that despite Phoenix’s Oscar-worthy dedication to the role of “pompous, insane actor”, no one was really buying it.
Katey Rich over at Cinema Blend even told Phoenix mere days after the Letterman debacle that the whole thing struck her as “not being true”.
Well, much like someone jumping out from behind a door and shouting “surprise” to nobody, Phoenix and Affleck’s documentary has been revealed to be a fake.
Deadline are reporting that the mockumentary made its debut at a private lunchtime screening for potential buyers. Of course, Deadline are still suggesting that Pheonix’s career-shift might indeed have been real.
Come on now.
Despite the entire world’s cynicism and inability to believe Phoenix’s metamorphosis for even a minute, you have to admit he gave the performance his all. A satire about the nature of fame and art could be fascinating to watch. But as Slashfilm suggest, did Banksy beat him to the punch?