Last week there was a somewhat surprising news story making its way around the internet stating that Joaquin Phoenix had formally announced his retirement from acting. This all started with an Extra interview where he gave them the “exclusive” scoop that he was quitting acting in order to pursue a music career. The video of the interview itself is very awkward and strange, which might lead one to believe that it was either staged or that Phoenix was only joking. Well, if he was joking, he continued the charade this past weekend, when he showed up at the U.S. premiere for his latest (and apparently last) movie Two Lovers, with the words “Good” and “Bye!” written across his knuckles (in reverse order, but I think we got the message nonetheless). Needless to say, this has prompted another round of blog posts confirming that he is now definitely done with Hollywood.
Here’s the thing though: if a fairly well-known actor was going to officially retire from acting for good, is this really how they would announce it to the world? By writing it on their knuckles in black marker? Phoenix’s publicist has apparently confirmed the story, but it all seems so strange. Admittedly, Joaquin Phoenix is kind of a weird dude to begin with. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that drugs may have something to do with it. He looked completely strung out and sounded borderline unintelligible in that interview, and a few years back he did check himself into rehab for alcoholism. Need we mention that his brother River died of a drug overdose at the age of 23? All I can say is that I hope it’s not true, because Joaquin is a fantastic actor and I could care less about seeing where his music career takes him. What do you think, is his retirement just a hoax or is it the real deal? The trailer for Two Lovers is embedded below; it hits theatres on February 13th, 2009.