Joaquin Phoenix Retiring from Acting Completely?!
At a benefit for Paul Newman this past Monday, 34-year-old actor Joaquin Phoenix told the show "Extra" that he's retiring from acting to focus on music. I don't know about you, but this is a real bummer in my mind. From To Die For to Buffalo Soldiers to Walk the Line to Reservation Road (even 8MM), I've always enjoyed the guy and thought he was pretty damn talented. He also seems to have a knack for music, however, too. His work on the soundtrack to Walk the Line won him a Grammy. And presently, he's recording an album with Tim Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans. If time proves this to be true - but you probably shouldn't question him on the veracity of his statement - let's hope he sticks around in the public eye, and doesn't pursue music like other actor-turned-musician hacks. I won't name names.
Phoenix told "Extra", "I'm not doing films anymore… I'm doing music… I've been through that… I've done it. Seems like it's Casey's (Affleck) time now." (He was with Affleck at the event.) At that point, the reporter apparently thought Phoenix was joking. Off-put by the reporter's incredulousness, Phoenix promptly walked away. If you ask me, the guy was a tad too sensitive when the "Extra" correspondent thought he was kidding. Why so serious? Did he really expect the news not to come across as surprising? Phoenix hasn't exactly gone downhill or slowed with his movie output that much. Retirement announcements always strike me as a little suspect, anyway, since lots of people make the proclamation and later prove themselves liars.
When "Extra" tried to follow up given Phoenix's sudden departure, his rep said, "that is what he told me." Selfishly, I hope Phoenix comes back to act again. If he doesn't, our last chance to see him on the big screen will be in 2009 with a romantic drama called Two Lovers, wherein Phoenix plays opposite Gwyneth Paltrow. Should we start the "Come Back Joaquin Phoenix" petition now? What do you think?