Joaquin Phoenix’s strangeness is apparently a “persona”.
The actor is notoriously elusive and refused to give any interviews while promoting his latest film The Immigrant recently. However, the director of the drama, James Gray, insists the star is completely ordinary once you get to know him.
“He is unbelievably normal in real life,” he assured the New York Daily News. “People don’t believe this. They say, ‘Oh dark Joaquin, he’s so…’ No! It’s all persona.”
Marion Cotillard co-stars in the film about a woman forced into prostitution. She relished the chance to work with Joaquin.
“I felt very lucky that I could watch him working and all those questions that he has,” she gushed. “He goes very deep into the understanding of a character.”
American actress Maja Wampuszyc also stars in the flick. She felt she was able to blend into the background and watch her mysterious co-star work.
“I have a great privilege of being able to make myself invisible,” she smiled. “So I was able to watch and I saw a person, an artist, who has a great sense of humor, who was at ease with himself, who loves what he does, who is kind to everybody that I saw him have dealings with.”
Joaquin, 39, mystified fans in 2009 when he put on weight, grew a beard and announced he would be retiring from acting to become a rapper. The subsequent Casey Affleck directed documentary about the star, I’m Still Here, was eventually uncovered as an elaborate hoax.
“Part of why I was frustrated with acting was because I took it so seriously,” Joaquin explained afterwards.
“I want it to be so good that I get in my own way. It’s like love: when you fall in love, you’re not yourself anymore. You lose control of being natural and showing the beautiful parts of yourself, and all somebody recognizes is this total desperation. And that’s very unattractive. Once I became a total buffoon, it was so liberating.”
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