Casey Affleck Says That 'I'm Still Here' is Almost Entirely Fake
by Ethan Anderton
September 16, 2010
Part of me wishes that we didn't find this out until much later, but since many of us were already suspecting it (and the film is gaining more buzz) I guess there's no time like the present. In an interview with The NY Times director Casey Affleck revealed that I'm Still Here, his documentary chronicling the attempted rap career and downward spiral of his brother-in-law, actor Joaquin Phoenix, is almost completely fake. The act goes all the way back to Phoenix's infamous appearance as a well-dressed hobo on "Late Night with David Letterman." As Affleck puts it, “It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career.”
Honestly, it always seemed rather peculiar that Affleck would let a friend and relative like Phoenix let his life so chaotically spiral out of control but still have the desire to film it all for the viewing public. Now it looks like I'm Still Here will be a mockumentary that rivals the antics of Sacha Baron Cohen's work in Borat or Brüno. Having recently highlighted the use of method acting, the added illusion of truth coming from intentional misleading information from Casey Affleck as a director adds a whole new layer to it. For some reason Affleck says, “I never intended to trick anybody. The idea of a quote, hoax, unquote, never entered my mind.” Really? Whether you call it a hoax, acting or just good old fashioned pretending, we know that he wanted people to believe this was real.
In Alex's somewhat mixed review from the Toronto International Film Festival he mentioned how amazed he would be with Phoenix's behavior and antics if they turned out to be completely fake. I wonder how everyone else will feel, and if people will still be as interested in seeing the film knowing it was all planned. I know that I'm still anxious to see all the crazy shit (figuratively and literally apparently) that happens on screen. For the rest of the interview with Casey Affleck, head over to The New York Times. Does the trickery make you less interested in I'm Still Here?