‘The nicest actor I ever met’

26/01/2014 | By

The UK Sunday Times has an interview with Spike Jonze. Here’s an excerpt.
Joaquin Phoenix is renowned for being difficult, but that didn’t stop Spike Jonze wanting him for the lead in his Oscar-nominated Her.
How was he?” asks Spike Jonze, nervously, of Joaquin Phoenix. Delightful, I reply. The nicest actor I’ve ever met. He smiles. That’s not what people usually say…
Articles about Phoenix, 39, often focus on his intensity, his weirdness; questions that hang unanswered before he smirks and the room stays silent. Much stems from a Late Show with David Letterman in 2009, when he turned up with a Unabomber beard and talked up his rap career. The interview was for the dishevelled documentary I’m Still Here, in which the actor played himself in a downward spiral.

His life is strange, the line goes. Wacky Joaquin. But he wasn’t like that at all. Jonze didn’t know the actor before directing him in his new film, Her. “When I was writing the part, I was thinking, ‘Joaquin would be amazing, but is he right for it?’ ” he says. “I couldn’t get a sense