Joaquin Phoenix Retiring from Acting Completely?!

October 29, 2008
Source: E! Online

Joaquin Phoenix

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?

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



I'll be the first signature. He's one of the best talents of our generation and the industry will be seriously lacking without him. Although after his album bombs we'll probably see the huge ' comeback of Oscar nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix is his most challenging role to date...'.

Maria on Oct 29, 2008


I can see him doing music for a few years then come back for some acting. I think that's just going to be the artist in him. Then again, I dont even know em. But I'm down for a petition. He was amazing in Walk The Line

Nick Sears on Oct 29, 2008


Commodus= me becoming a huge JP fan And he made Signs pretty awesome too, and yea walk the line was good too. Bummer!

r1000 on Oct 29, 2008


Meh. No big loss. Its more about what he's done and not what he might have done, and for that he's appreciated. He'll be back. Even Michael Jordan played baseball.

Voice Of Reason on Oct 29, 2008


dang. I hope he does music for a while and comes back. He's really good.

-peter- on Oct 29, 2008


The video of him on made it seem very "Punk'd".

Will S. (Co Springs) on Oct 29, 2008


I dont like this...he is a great actor. I mean him in Gladiator as Commodus is one of the greatest performances of the past few years, he was amazing in it.

Derek on Oct 29, 2008


He better NOT to...because he's one of the most talented actors i've seen these years...Damn, don't do this to me, baby =(

samy on Oct 29, 2008


I would totally sign a Bring Back Joaquin Pheonix petition. Gladiator, Walk The Line, even Signs. He's in the prime of his career. True he hasnt won an Oscar but he has the talent to do so. If he were an actor with the talent of Rob Schneider or Keanu Reeves then this would be understandable. It just doesnt make sense for him to retire at this point in his acting career

Chris on Oct 29, 2008


Just keep your options open Phoenix. I really love seeing you on the big screen. You were great as Johnny Cash... so I'll let you do this ok... just... don't give up on film completely.

cyn on Oct 29, 2008


noooooo!! He's a very talented actor - perhaps he just needs some better roles! He was amazing in Gladiator. When the singing don't work out - he'll be back.

dom on Oct 29, 2008


You forgot to mention his role in Gladiator. He was absolutely phenomenal in that.

Blue Buttons on Oct 29, 2008


Before this happened I could just avoid his movies. Radio is everywhere. So, I hope he comes back to acting?

JosefG on Oct 29, 2008


So is he starting a Jonny Cash tribute band? No really what kind of music does he play country or rock?

dac_fan on Oct 29, 2008


seemed drunk or out of it in the video. Also a lil full of himself. No big loss to me, i mean he is talented but there are plenty of replacements and people i enjoy more. check out the video if you haven't, its quite entertaining.

bret on Oct 29, 2008


Dang! I was hoping he'd be the Joker in Nolan's next Batman movie. I'm not joking.

Sean on Oct 29, 2008


Maybe it's good he's taking a break. He'll start playing the same roles soon so why not. He was awesome in U-Turn (TNT) and The Village. Not so much for his speaking, but his mannerisms. Although, the porch scene was quite moving. Good luck to him.

wm on Oct 29, 2008


He's a pretty good actor, at least he's trying something else and not dying. That's so 2008...

Crapola on Oct 29, 2008


Man he is such a great Actor its a shame to loose him. I think he will do well in music as well but will come back to theatre eventually.

werdnafaz on Oct 30, 2008


I seem to be the only one that thinks this, but I really enjoyed him in the Village too, he is a great talent and if he does not come back to acting then he has left a string of great movies behind him. My hope is that he heads off and makes a great album and comes back better than ever. Robert Downy Jr. did exactly that (his album is EXCELLENT) and now he is one of hollywoods top male actors.

Kaiser on Oct 30, 2008


Are all you people kidding me?!?!?! Did you watch that pathetic video??!! Kevin Powers is right on the money, what a DOUCHEBAG!!! He's so messed up in the head, look at him, he thinks he's a fucking superstar!! Shit really goes to these peoples heads. I will never watch anything with this douche in it again. I hope the door hits him in the ass on the way out... fucking douchebag. Oh and why do these people act like this, cause you morons buy into it and condone it and give him the desperate and pathetic attention he is looking for. The only thing of any quality that comes from this is now South Park will have a new celebrity to make fun of, fucking douchebag.

Chubby O'Toole on Oct 30, 2008


This is a huge loss. He's my favorite actor, absolutely brilliant, he nailed Johnny Cash and Cash himself was a huge fan of his from Gladiator. He's also a very cool, very private, very decent guy who never whored himself out or tryed to present an "image." He was one of the only reasons to watch films. To be clear, he's been writing music for sometime, great stuff apparantly, but the singer he's working with says it will likely never be released. It's a personal project for him, he's not off to be a music star.

Julie on Oct 30, 2008


this is the saddest thing Ive heard in a long time. he is great, one of the truly good actors of our time, I mean signs is possibly one of my favorite movies, and also alex Im sad to see you did not mention the gladiator. he will be missed, by anyone who matters, but if this is what he wants to do than so be it, he could make some great music too.

tyler on Nov 1, 2008


I saw him on tv two days ago saying it so it is true. He is too good to be leaving acting. Bets on whether he comes back or not? But you gotta follow your heart, so who am I to judge?

vu on Nov 5, 2008


I saw him in "we own the nignt", "two lovers" and "gladiator", he is a wonderful actor. I am so sad he leaves acting. I feel like when Heath Ledger ded, but maybe he'll make good music.

alexandre on Dec 22, 2008


Hey u gonna to play cuz I would mind to do this but my understandin that I'm a lot much better than marlee martin so I can speak pretty good than her so pick me for playin in the movie wink....

ruth on May 19, 2009

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:

Follow Alex's main account on Twitter:

For only the latest posts - follow this:

Add our posts to your Feedlyclick here

Get all the news sent on Telegram Telegram