PTA on Joaquin Phoenix: He doesn’t have an off switch…

16/10/2012 | By

Cigarettes & Red Vines have the transcript up for Sirius XM Radio’s interview with PTA last week. It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing (or listening but his description about what it’s like working with Joaquin is well worth reading. It makes sense actually….now we’ve been told it! Anyway, below is an excerpt but it’s worth popping over there for the lot!

MA:  I have to ask because I was so impressed with Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in The Master.  I think it’s a different side of him than we’e ever seen before.  His physicality in that movie.  Was that a collaboration or something that he just brought and embodied in Freddie.

PTA:  That’s just him.  That’s a hundred percent something that he did and I loved it.

MA:  Yeah, I gotta tell you I thought at some points in the movie, “God, what’s wrong with Joaquin Phoenix.  What happened to him?”

PTA:  That’s great, right?

GD:  He’s so volatile.  You never know… I found myself watching the movie and being frightened watching him because I just never knew what he was going to do.  I never knew where he was going to go.  And it seems like being on set with someone that’s so deep in ta character, that almost they’re whole body is changed, that just seems like it would be mind-blowing all the time.  How does that guy go to craft services, you know?

PTA:  Yeah, exactly.  How does he…?  He doesn’t.  Really, that’s exactly…he doesn’t.

MA:  Is he one of those guys who’s able to just turn it off when the camera stops or is he kind of still in that.

PTA:  No, he didn’t know how to turn it off.  He doesn’t really have an off switch.  Fortunately for me it’s just kind of on and simmers.  He’s one of those actors that, kind of like Freddie, you’re sort of getting everything ready with lights and cameras and things like that and you’re kind of aware of what’s going on with everybody and then suddenly somehow he just appears, right there.  He’s just standing right there quietly.  Normally on a film set, there’s kind of a lot of awareness of where the actors are, they’re coming from their trailers, they’re doing this, all their movements are kind of choreographed, they don’t want to lose anybody.  He just slipped through everyone’s cracks.  No one would know where he is and then suddenly there he is like a little shadow.  Like a rat moving around.

GD:  And that’s a little bit similar to how Daniel Day Lewis works, too, right?

PTA:  Yeah, yeah.  Very similar.  Very kind of similar level of concentration and dedication to what they’re doing.  Very similar.  But have you seen a picture of Joaquin lately?  He doesn’t look like Freddie.  He looks like a normal person, right?

GD:  Yeah, there’s video footage of him from Cannes and he’s just a normal dude sitting there drinking water.

PTA:  Yeah.  That’s right.  Yeah, yeah.

GD:  He was acting, it turns out.

PTA:  He was acting.  I don’t know how they do it.  I don’t.  It’s hocus pocus to me to be able to do that job and do it so well.  It’s crazy.  But I love watching it.