Wacky Joaquin Phoenix wants to kiss and make up with Oscar

After setting off a firestorm when he dismissed the Oscars as “the stupidest thing in the whole world,” Joaquin Phoenix is backtracking big time. 

The star of “The Master” was a frontrunner for Best Actor until his all-too revealing chat last month with Elvis Mitchell for Interview magazine. Asked then about his views on the Oscars, the two-time nominee said: “I’m just saying that I think it’s bullshit. I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it. It’s a carrot, but it’s the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don’t want this carrot. It’s totally subjective.”

He changed his tune this week, telling Aussie journo Garry Maddox (The Age): “I know that first of all, I wouldn’t have the career that I have if it weren’t for the Oscars. I haven’t been in a lot of movies that have made a lot of money … And getting nominated for a movie has probably helped my career tremendously.

”I guess I sound like a dick,” he conceded. ”You know what it’s like? You sit and you bullshit for a couple of hours. You just miss so much of what someone says when it’s written down …. Come on, man, you know that it’s more complex than that. It’s not like I f—ing hate the Oscars … It doesn’t occupy my time to where I can build up hate.

”What I was reacting to was sometimes the reverence that we have about these things. I don’t want to revere it.”

Does he care that his bout of Oscar bashing may have cost him a Best Actor nomination?

”I didn’t even know that I was in a position to do something that would cost me something,” he said.

Recently, he performed a similar mea culpa at “The Master’s” press conference for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. He told Golden Globe voters that he’d been quoted out of context and that what he really meant was merely that he eschewed competition between actors. “He appeared very humble,” a witness tells Gold Derby.

Apparently, the Weinstein Company is so concerned that Phoenix may have committed Oscar suicide that it just boosted “Django Unchained” player Christoph Waltz to the lead category from supporting. The studio had done Phoenix a favor by dropping his co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman down into the supporting race, despite the two men sharing the Best Actor award from the Venice filmfest. 

Phoenix is still likely to reap a bid for his performance as a lost soul who falls under the spell of a religious zealot (Hoffman) in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s powerful new picture. However, his odds of winning have dropped dramatically, from 14/5 to 4/1. 

Prior to his damning comments, Phoenix had seven Experts backing him for the win; now, he has the support of only three of our Oscarologists. 

Who will win Best Actor?
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Twenty of our 26 pro pundits predict Daniel Day Lewis to win his third Best Actor Oscar for his work in “Lincoln.” He is the overwhelming favorite among our Experts, Editors and Users with odds of 13 to 8. 

23 thoughts on “Wacky Joaquin Phoenix wants to kiss and make up with Oscar

  1. Sorry kid. Let this be a lesson. Brats don’t get taken out in public, particularly when a big chunk of the public didn’t want to see them in the first place. Now take a time out and come back later with your obvious talent and a better attitude.

  2. Harvey must’ve read what’s happened. And this bespeaks of Damage Control. Tooooo late. He should’ve apologized IMMEDIATELY. Not several weeks later.He may not even get nominated with Sir Anthony & Hugh Jackman coming on strong.

  3. lol you guys really think he cares about Oscras? He was honest with Mitchell and now his publicist told him to be nicer about it so he is. He still doesn’t give a shit.

  4. I don’t really care if he wins. I know that as an ACTOR, what he did in The Master is just as revolutionary as what Brand did for people like Pacino and Deniro. He tore the ceiling off. I’ve NEVER seen acting of this level. Pure Brilliance. So fuck an award. Real actors know Joaquin is now the benchmark for greatness.

  5. @Dawn. Exactly. He’s laughing at all you Oscar “experts,” He knows he is currently the best actor live. You think you can take that away from him with your bitter blogger opinions? Get real, FOH.

  6. @taliBumaye Opinions are opinions. I don’t think he is that great an actor. He is good at what he does in the angst ridden but basically one note overwrought and not particularly entertaining, but then again I’m in the club of “Show up, hit your mark, know your lines, and do the work”. All that intense navel gazing may serve the performance but often destroys the entirety of the film.

  7. @Jamie i’ve never seen it destroy the film. Hell, the entire film relies on his performance in The Master. It has nothing to do with intensity. It’s about nuance, freedom, naturalism, spontaneity, creativity. His performance in The Master excels in all those aspects more than any other performance I’ve ever seen in cinema. The kind of actor you’re talking about is average. Anybody can do that, so why praise mediocrity? I like actors who work as artists. Isn’t that what the Oscars are supposed to be about. Awarding those who work as artists at the highest level.

  8. Depends what you think is natural. If you mean its not normal for actors to be acting with such brilliance, then yes its not natural. If you mean it doesnt feel real? I’d disagree. There wasn’t a spot of false behavior in it. And as an actor, I catch ALL the false behavior. It’s extremely hard to please other actors because you know…as actors we know all the tricks, we know what the other actors are doing and how. When I saw that performance, I didn’t see anything. No hint as to how he did it. It was just pure brilliance.

  9. Like I said, opinion is opinion. I just didn’t like The Master. What I’m talking about isn’t “average”, it is the ability to make something very difficult look easy as if anyone could do it until you see someone else try. More than anything I look for actors who “listen”. They are totally in the moment with those around them. Sorry for me Phoenix is all me, me, me.

  10. lol if he’s all me, then what do you call his performance? its 90% listening…listening to what the actors are giving him, listening to what the environment is giving him….where do you think all that detailed behavior comes from? From reacting to what’s going on. But he has such a strong grasp on the character that all the behavior is very specific to who Freddie is. His performance in The Master is the most dependent on listening than any other performance out there.

  11. Phoenix’s performance in The Master is like a masterclass in listening for actors. He’s so open, and so present ready to react to whatever is happening.

  12. Yea nice try, you labelling that performance as standard makes you loose all credibility. Unlike Phoenix’s acting in The Master you never see the wheels turning in Hackman’s performance, its so natural so fluid, hes so invested in the material reacting to everything through his body language. Its a multidimensional performance and the hardest kind of acting to do playing an introvert you isnt expressive yet Hackman makes him compelling throughout. any actor will tell you that this is the hardest kind of acting to do. Phoenix could never give a performance like this without bursting out in emotion.

  13. Lol, actually most actors will tell you that playing an introvert is easier. You’re giving an actor an excuse to not be physically active. It’s the easy way out. As soon as you tell an actor to make active choices, those who aren;t good actors will immediately show their weakness because they will not be able to make the physicality justified with psychological truth.

  14. Really because most directors and actors ive heard say the opposite, its much harder to stay compelling with less to do. You must have missed the nuances in Hackman’s performance because the guy knows how to make the slightest gesture and look absolutely compelling and still create a fully fleshed out human being, wheras Phoenix with all the overacting and tricks still can’t come across as one.

  15. every actor knows that compelling is a matter of story. If the character’s “ups and downs” are traditionally written to draw out empathy of the audience, your work is done. Show up, be relaxed, and the camera will love you. There’s not one moment of over acting in Phoenix’s performance. Overacting is when something an actor does is not justified by the script, and the inner life he creates for the character. There’s no such occurance in The Master.

  16. The true testament of ability is when an actor plays an unlikeable character, and the moment when they reveal some complex emotional life you cannot help but feel for the character. This is in accordance with human nature. We cannot demonize those who we recognize as being true complex human beings. So when Phoenix gets emotional over the girl, and your heart literally breaks…..you cannot argue against that.

  17. You’re pouncing awfully hard on Joaquin these last couple of weeks. He’s not running for President for God sake – he’s an actor. An-out-there-talented-not-2-press-savvy-actor. Give him a break Tom and judge the work and not his press. Geez. Let it go. This town is so quick to pounce.

  18. Misquotes and comments made out of context happen all too often, as well as interviewers not telling the reader that the interviewee was obviously saying something in jest. It’s happened before, and we all know it’ll happen again. I don’t know if it happened this time. Joaquin is rough around the edges, yes – but he’s a fantastic actor, and much of the points he made are correct, whether we like it or not..

  19. If you read the damn interview you would see the question was asked about “the awards season” and not the Oscars specifically. And honestly yeah it is all bullshit. Was he thinking it would cause all this controversy? Fuck no!

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