Joaquin Phoenix calls Oscars the 'stupidest thing' in the world
Joaquin Phoenix, who has been nominated for two Oscars, says he thinks the awards circuit is "total, utter [expletive]."
The 37-year-old actor made his comments to film critic Elvis Mitchell for Interview magazine. When asked about what he would do when put on the awards circuit for his most recent film, "The Master," Phoenix said he didn't want to be a part of it.
"I'm just saying that I think it's bull----. I think it's total, utter bull----, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it," Phoenix told Interview magazine. "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," Joaquin continued. "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."
The sentiment is timely, given the Oscar buzz surrounding Phoenix's Scientology-inspired film, which is likely to bring him and co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman (who Phoenix calls a genius), back to the Academy Awards this year.
In "The Master," Hoffman stars as Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic intellectual who returns shaken from World War II to form a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in the 1950s.
Phoenix portrays his troubled follower and right-hand man, Freddie Quell, while Amy Adams portrays Dodd's wife Peggy and "Friday Night Lights" actor Jesse Plemons plays Dodd's son.
Phoenix and Hoffman were jointly awarded the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival on September 9, following the premiere of "The Master." Anderson was also awarded the Silver Lion for Best Director.
The film is being touted as Phoenix's big comeback, following a brief hiatus spent filming the mock-umentary, "I'm Still Here," where he "quit acting" to explore a career in rap. Though the film was considered a confusing flop, the actor said that it was just what he needed before returning to acting.
"I thought Casey and I had actually achieved ultimate success with 'I'm Still Here,' if your definition of success is completely destroying your career -- which was somewhat the intent. But doing that movie was one of the best things that I've done and that I'll ever do," Phoenix told Interview. "It's the best thing I've ever done in terms of helping me grow as an actor and having a deeper appreciation for acting. But for a while, it was bad. I was so worried."
Phoenix said that the movie forced him to do something wholly uncomfortable and put his career on the line, in an acting experiment. He also revealed that after the movie came out, he received a lot of "big-money offers" because people assumed he was desperate, but Phoenix did not want to give up on his ideals.
"I just don't know many people who have made it and kept their identity. I've never made $20 million. I'm scared," Phoenix said. "I don't know if you gave me The Ring if I could carry it and bring it to Ozamorph, or whatever you call it. I think I'd put it on and test it out... I don't know if I could take it back off. I don't know that I'm strong enough. I'd like to think that I was strong enough ... But I'm getting there."
"The Master" opened in theaters in September. Watch the trailer below.