TaleSpin: The Saga Of Joaquin Phoenix

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For a couple of weeks Joaquin Phoenix has been telling anybody who would listen that he’s done with acting, that he’s moving on to a career as a rap artist. After what happened in New York tonight (at the premier of his new movie “Two Lovers”) we suspect that rather than simply walking away from his career, he is instead trying to kill it.

Here’s the scene as observed by our field producer Tara Bernie — all the Media Types are assembled in a small U-shaped area waiting on Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Phoenix and other members of the cast and crew. The publicist tells everybody they have to sign a release form or Joaquin won’t talk.

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Nobody signs, so Joaquin walks right by. Take that back; couple of photogs sign the release form but he doesn’t stop for them either. He doesn’t stop for director James Gray either, or even appear to recognize him. But then again he and Gray have only made two movies together.

He looks rather… wooly… with full beard, wild hair and big dark glasses The one person he paid any attention to was Casey Affleck, who seems to be following Phoenix most everywhere these days, camera in hand, taping what might be some sort of documentary about the soon-to-be former actor. But Casey is his brother-in-law so maybe he has to.

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The movie publicist was “upset” according to Tara, and has a right to be. This kind of dog and pony show is designed to help sell the movie. But, you know, maybe Joaquin was still in character. In the movie he plays a moody young man caught between love for and love from Paltrow and Shaw.

In a photo that appeared recently in The Huffington Post (from an event last fall) Phoenix aimed his fists at the camera and on them were the words “Good Bye!” on his knuckles. He had to use an exclamation point because he was one letter short. We didn’t get a close enough look at his hands tonight to see if the writing was still there or if it came off in the shower.

“Sooo Long” Joaquin.

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