Joaquin Phoenix, who is well known for both his considerable acting skills and his propensity for pulling ridiculous stunts, would like you to know that he isn’t interested in winning an Oscar for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (which we haven’t seen yet, so no spoilers please).
In a recent Vanity Fair interview, Phoenix effectively called Hollywood’s awards fetish a farce:
“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.
Well, that’s one way to sink your Oscar chances, because we have a feeling that at least a few people on the Academy panel read Vanity Fair. On the other hand, we can’t say this is terribly surprising coming from an actor who insisted that his brief stint as a bearded rapper was completely legitimate.
Let’s state some obvious truths here: Actors are public figures. They’re about as public as anyone outside of politics can possibly be. We understand the appeal of the “crazy genius” stock character, but the fact that Phoenix can get work while continuing to misbehave in public and exhibit what appears to be disdain for the industry that employs him is a little surprising.
We would note that he is absolutely right and that the only real value of an Academy Award lies in free PR for your movie, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it?