The phone rings ”Hi, my name’s Joaquin” a voice says. ”I think we’re supposed to speak today”

07/11/2012 | By

The Age.com Australia has a further interview with Joaquin. Littered with errors and poor research tbh…..but it is an interview with Joaquin nevertheless!

THE phone rings. ”Hi, my name’s Joaquin,” a voice says. ”I think we’re supposed to speak today.”

The mercurial Joaquin Phoenix starts his interviews differently to other Hollywood stars. And because voting has just closed in the US, it seems reasonable to ask first what he did on election day.

”Oh, who cares?” the two-time Oscar nominee says derisively from his home in Los Angeles. But isn’t this a defining moment in American politics?

”No, I don’t mean who cares about that?” he says. ”I mean, who cares what I’m doing? I’m not sure I’m well-spoken enough to handle that kind of stuff. I imagine that I’ll just be walking around in two days and my publicist will go ‘You idiot, why did you say that?’ ”

Phone time with an actor best known for playing intense, troubled characters in such movies as To Die For, Gladiator, Walk The Line, I’m Still Here and now The Master is a colourful experience. Phoenix has a suggestion.

”I think you should just write the interview that you’d like and I approve it.”

As an approach, it has its merits. But a journalist would have trouble inventing Phoenix’s recent lacerating comments about the Oscars. ”I think it’s total, utter bullshit and I don’t want to be a part of it,” he told Interview magazine. ”Pitting people against each other … it’s the stupidest thing in the whole world.”

Phoenix says he was surprised the comments made such a splash. ”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.” Pause. ”I guess I sound like a dick.”

What about speculation the comments will cost him another Oscar nomination?

”I didn’t even know that I was in a position to do something that would cost me something,” he says before getting serious. ”But I know that first of all, I wouldn’t have the career that I have if it weren’t for the Oscars … And getting nominated for a movie has probably helped my career tremendously.

”But in some ways it’s the antithesis of what you want to be as an actor. You’re always trying to free yourself of the artifice, which is really difficult. Especially when you suck, like me.”

So would Phoenix go if nominated for The Master next year?

”It’s not like I f—ing hate the Oscars. I mean, I don’t think that I think about it that much.”

In Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Phoenix plays a damaged World War II veteran, Freddie Kwell, who is drawn towards quasi religious leader Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Watching video of captive animals helped him prepare.

”Gnarly, nasty zoos where there’s a gorilla or a pound where you see dogs that are skinny and broken and look like they have mange and are half-crazy and mostly terrified,” he says. ”We really just wanted to capture that.”

This most method of actors admits going through weeks of anxiety before shooting a movie and finds it difficult to watch the result.

”When a scene comes up, you just go, ‘Oh f—, I remember that day: we were out on the boat.’ I can’t really have a pure experience when watching it.”

Pause. ”Do you just hate me? Does it sound like horseshit?”

The Master is Phoenix’s return to acting after 2010’s I’m Not There, which reputedly showed him becoming a rapper.

”I’m very fortunate that I’m in these really amazing situations with great directors,” Phoenix says cheerfully. ”And I’m still crap.”

The Master opens today.