We all know Joaquin Phoenix is a great film actor, his rapping career however, well let’s just say the only reason you would go to his concert is to see him, not his rapping.
When we first saw him on stage rapping, we thought “oh he’s just having some fun, doing something different”. But when he came out saying he was “quitting acting” to pursue his rap career, we thought he must be joking and this is crazy.
He even went on Letterman for an awkward appearance. Letterman razzed him as Phoenix basically said little to nothing. Phoenix even put gum on the Letterman table when Letterman said “how bout I come to your place and chew gum”. But at the end of the show Joaquin shook hands with Letterman and took off his glasses. So if he was really irritated with Letterman like he appeared why take off your glasses as a sign of respect? He seemed to pick up his mood when the interview was over. He went from depressed to happy in a second. That makes me think Letterman was in on it, or being a good sport. Usually on talk shows like that you go over what you are going to talk about with the interviewee that way the conversation goes smoothly so no one is caught off guard. Now Letterman may be able to roll with punches and ad lib, but he seemed to know something was going on and played along very well.
Another thing to add to the “staged” concept is that Casey Affleck a known director (Gone Baby, Gone) has been filming all along this Joaquin journey. This leads some to believe it will be a mockumentary of some sort akin to that of “Borat”. See the reaction you get from people when you drastically change careers, or the film could be about the comedy of the situation. Now, you definitely have enough material for an hour and a half movie. Especially if you add in Ben Stiller’s imitation of Joaquin with the beard and mannerisms.
If this whole thing was a stunt to get publicity for his next movie, he wouldn’t need someone to film it. Besides couldn’t you pay some Joe Smoh to film it instead of an in-demand director like Casey Affleck. That’s pretty nice of Affleck to film something like that just so Joaquin can have a video to remember his crazy rapping adventures.
Now Joaquin attacked a heckler at his most recent rap concert. He yelled back at the heckler “We have a (double-expletive) in the audience,” he said before jumping into the crowd. It was not immediately clear whether the two men exchanged any blows. This makes me think it was all a stunt to “act like a thug” and more material for his mockumentary. Especially since Affleck didn’t stop filming the whole event. Why wouldn’t he go help his friend in a fight I wonder? Maybe the heckler was also in on it. Course there would naturally be hecklers due to Phoenix’s lack of hip-hop talent.
I just don’t see how this mockumentary will actually be successful. In this day and age with YouTube and mass media and blogs we’ve already seen or read about most of these events. So when the film comes out it will be so re-hashed it will be boring and repetitive. Unless the film makers make a really bizarre spin on the film like “how the media treats you if you go off in another direction in your career.” But that seems unlikely as no one will feel sorry for him (Phoenix), when he’s already made millions and we are in a Great Recession.