Joaquin Phoenix Calls Awards 'Bullshit' So Will He Get Nominated?

October 18, 2012
Source: Interview

Joaquin Phoenix

If you haven't seen Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master yet, you're missing out on some spectacular cinema with Oscar caliber performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. But it's not the awards that matter, at least when if Phoenix has something to say about it. In fact, the actor has some pretty harsh words for the awards circuit altogether. In speaking with Interview (via Screen Crush), Phoenix recollects the days when he had to run the awards campaign gamut for Walk the Line, and it's definitely not one of his happier moments, despite the fact he was nominated for an Oscar.

The entire interview, conducted by Elvis Mitchell, is pretty damn great (read it here), but we're just going to focus on the awards talk. Phoenix very bluntly and nonchalantly said:

"I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other…It's the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it—and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it—but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things."

Phoenix doesn't say it very eloquently, but he has a point. The Academy Awards is just one big masturbatory night for Hollywood, but no one really wants to be there (and don't get me started on the Golden Globes). It's almost impossible to pit certain kinds of films and performances against another. The other problem is all of the hoops stars have to jump through just to be in consideration. There's campaigning and ridiculous politics and sometimes because of that the best performances and films don't even win, and they might not even be nominated. It's clear Phoenix doesn't like that aspect of awards, but I'm willing to bet he'd still be honored if his peers decided that he gave the best performance on screen in 2012.

But that brings us to the question of whether or not he'll even be nominated now. Making a statement like this won't definitively ruin his chances, but it certainly won't improve them. Phoenix deserves a nomination, and if he doesn't get one, it'll be hard to explain why. Obviously we haven't seen all of this year's performances, but it's hard to think that his turn in The Master won't be considered one of the best. Of course, we'll be keeping our eye on the awards buzz this winter and look forward to seeing where Phoenix lands when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 15th, 2013. Your thoughts?

Find more posts: Awards, Editorial



I agree with him, the awards are suppose to give to the best actors and films, but with campaigning and all that craps. the awards are meaningless. the true talents do not get to be recognized.

truong18 on Oct 18, 2012


They do .All they have to do is die.

reev on Oct 18, 2012


There's the olympics to recognize exceptional athletes and award them with MEDALS, there's Stanley Cup finals to award the hockey team that wins against the best teams in the league a well....Stanley Cup, there's the World Cup soccer....should I go on? It's not all right for people in the film industry to ravish in their achievements and spoils? including best actors, directors, editors, screenwriters and pictures. I think Joaquin Phoneix in just an ungrateful douchebag - you reading this JP? GOOD.

conradthegreat on Oct 18, 2012


Those are not the same thing at all, have you ever watched the Oscars? Most of the actors/actresses there are trying not to roll their eyes and busy getting wasted off champagne. As someone else said its all geared towards glamorizing and money making. In the Olympics do certain athletes hold back til the end of the event so there better considered for an award? Do athletes and trainers specifically do certain things to be considered for an award(the way writers and producers make certain "heartfelt" movies towards the end of the year to hit the academy's soft spots)? You cant compare physical achievements and hours and hours of grueling training and dedication to something that is blatantly phony, fake and just overall pointless, only there to make Hollywood feel like there's still some shred of respect of dignity left in the industry. To your answer your question? No its not right for people in the industry to ravish in there achievements and spoils, there ridiculously high paychecks(being paid higher than 98% of the populace), there faces on tabloids and entertainment news year round and there own TV shows on the E channel more than makeup for any ravishing that they actually deserve. Call me biased against a lot of untalented, undeservedly high payed phonys but that is my opinion on that matter, comparing the Olympics to the Oscars hit a nerve.

Cody W on Oct 18, 2012


Pare this down to : sports are competitions among talents; acting and movies are exhibitions OF talents . Some movies are made with winning awards in mind , I'm sure . Just as some Olympic athletes without a hope of winning , just want to say they competed with the best .

Dominic A on Oct 19, 2012


If there's one thing the Academy loves more then Paul Thomas Anderson, it's actors who hate the Academy. He'll get the nom.

Alex on Oct 18, 2012


he'll get nominated,because i think this a routine he's doing becuase he's an oddball.

randall gerber on Oct 18, 2012


i meant say 'because' he's an oddball..

randall gerber on Oct 18, 2012


The Academy is a bunch of bullshit. The true awards are the festival awards. The Oscars are geared towards moneymaking and glamourizing.

Marcusbrdunn on Oct 18, 2012


" It's almost impossible to pit certain kinds of films and performances against another. " lol isn't this the answer to the Pfister story also . Avengers and TDKR can't be compared then . Would Save the debate going on in that thread !

Dominic A on Oct 19, 2012


I agree, it's all a bunch of publicity and politics!

Marie Jaszenovits on Feb 19, 2013

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