Okay Seriously… Is Joaquin Phoenix Really Saying Bye! Good to Hollywood?

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.



  • Joaquin Phoenix has always been a weirdo. Anyone Remember when he was in that one interview where he asked the reporter if he had a frog on his head?

  • Liz

    “is this really how they would announce it to the world? By writing it on their knuckles in black marker?”

    Not only that, but with the words reversed so that it actually reads “BYE! GOOD”?

    I never believe anyone who says they’re retiring from whatever they are currently doing because they always come back. [Athletes tend to be exempt from this rule, but you still get the occasional athlete returning to his or her game after retiring.]

  • Primal

    Unless there is some kind of retirement plan that actors have, then you actually can’t actually retire from this business, right? Does he get a gold watch or some sort of pension? Retired or not, he will get residuals from his till he dies. One of the only retirements I’d accept is death.

  • Yeah, Joaquin is weird. Remember that story where he said he had been saved from a car wreck by Werner Herzog?

    As long as Joaquin goes on an all-star tour with Dogstar and 30 Seconds to Mars, I’m in! Er, wait a sec …

  • dirrrtyfrank

    He should have quit while he was ahead after Parenthood.

  • He’s a typical a-hole actor. We all know that he isn’t retiring, and this is some kind of big joke. He just seems like a dick in the interview with Jerry Penacole.

    How very typical.

  • Curtis Funkinstien

    Word on the underground is J.P. just got tapped to play The Joker in The Sequel to The Dark Knight…
    Batman :Arkham Asylum…
    With Robert Downey Jr. doing a very Burgess Merideth esque Penguin

    All Of the Joker scenes take place in an Psyche Cell
    with Batman interviewing Joker ala Hannible Lecter from Manhunter.