We dig Joaquin Phoenix here on the razz for his environmental and charity projects — as well as his vegan lifestyle and animal activism. However, when we heard that he was ditching acting, focusing on a rap career, and documenting the process with help from his brother-in-law Casey Affleck, our immediate gut reaction was “Is this a joke?”
Turns out, according to some sources, it is indeed.
Perhaps taking some cues from Sacha Baron Cohen or Andy Kaufman, Phoenix’s transition into a shaggy-bearded, rapping homeless man is a giant hoax. From EW,
“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. Whatever his motivation or ultimate endgame, don’t expect him to break character anytime soon. “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.”
The only question is: How long will Phoenix continue to play the ruse? And will fans appreciate the joke?