Documentary’s more like a Mockumentary: In a candid new interview with The New York Times, Casey Affleck reveals that I’m Still Here — a moving testament Joaquin Phoenix’s downward spiral, was all just an elaborate “performance.”
Phoenix stunned the public and late-night TV host David Letterman in a Feb. 2009 appearance on the funnyman’s show that seemed to show an seemingly incoherent Joaquin showing up in a heavy beard and sunglasses. Dave couldn’t stop chuckling and famously quipped: “Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight.”
For nearly two years, Phoenix has “Walked the Lane” between his Oscar-nominated sanity and a head-scratching desire to become a hardcore rapper. The actor left fans wondering whether the bearded, drug-addled aspiring rap star that he had become was due to a mental breakdown or whether it was a big publicity stunt. Now the truth is out. Affleck, Phoenix’s brother-in-law and director of Still Here, has revealed that the film was a performance, and the appearance on David Letterman was a publicity stunt.
“It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career,” Affleck, 35, tells The Times in an interview about the film. According to Affleck, Phoenix decided he wanted to indulge in some “gonzo filmmaking,” in the tradition of the journalist Hunter S. Thompson. “I never intended to trick anybody. The idea of a quote, hoax, unqote, never entered my mind.”
Affleck says he even faked home movies of Phoenix as a child! So that leads us to the obvious question: How many of you have plopped down ten bucks and donned your hangover sunglasses and a giant hat to sneak into the local theater for this mess? Show yourselves!