After his disheveled, drowsy and incoherent appearance on David Letterman, the media and blogosphere's take on Joaquin Phoenix rap career no longer seems to be disbelief and skepticism. In fact, quite the opposite. Several publications seems genuinely concerned for Phoenix after he appeared on the Late Night show. We're not convinced by that at all, but if the actor cum hip-hop star is lying and pulling a colossal joke on the media, he's certainly going to great lengths to protect it.
While "Two Lovers" director and close friend James Gray has already said, he's sure Phoenix will appear in his next movie (whenever he figures out what that will be exactly), he doesn't seem to be in on any potential joke. And if it is a gag, Phoenix is willing to spend the money to make it seem like non-fiction. "All I know is that the guy built a studio in his house, and it’s not some halfway job. He built this recording studio.” Gray told MTV. He says Phoenix “hadn’t heard fully produced stuff yet,” but that “he was sort of working on it the last time I was at his house.”
Either that or Gray is a great liar too, but the sincere filmmaker always come across as someone who had major antipathy and disdain for irony and in-joke. The more Gray has to do publicity for "Two Lovers," the film which is Phoenix's "last" performance (and man, this whole media fascination has given his film a ton of unprecedented press), the more he keeps getting sucked into the whole fiasco.
Nikkie Finke talked to Gray and notes (like we already did) that "Two Lovers" features an awkward freestyle rap performance by Joaquin, and Gray believes the actor is imitating him.
"I had an obsession with doing that sort of thing as a teenager. It turns out that Joaquin is imitating me in a lot of the movie. He said, 'I want to do that, I want to steal from that, I want to do the rap that you used to do.' I said, 'OK.' And now I'm seeing him do this thing, and I feel like I've ruined Joaquin Phoenix for the world. I don't want to be the guy that destroyed Joaquin Phoenix's acting career."Devin from Chud, normally a pretty skeptical person spoke to Phoenix at a round table and says he was far from incoherent and was in fact quite lucid. "While Joaquin had been strange in the past, he had never been as loquacious as he was that day -- a complete contrast to his spaced-out Letterman appearance. He was talkative, funny, engaging. "Most interesting was the fact that he never appeared to actually ramble. He'd give long answers [that] would travel a bit off topic, but would never go off course like the answers you might expect from someone who was really high. His answers were good."
He now seems to believe this is in fact, not at act at all. The plot continues. - Adam Sweeney