Joaquin Phoenix, the star of The Master and current second-favourite to scoop the Oscar for Best Actor in February, has played down his acting talents claiming to actually be "not very good." Phoenix - who was rumored to be quitting the movie business before signing on for Paul Thomas Anderson's movie - said he needs to be "very close" to directors in order to get through shoots.
In a nervy interview with The Independent, Phoenix explained his self-doubts and on-set needs, "I think the trouble is that I'm not very good and I need a lot of help; I need the entire set to be working to help me," he said, adding, "The only way I can work is to be very close to the director and the acting. At least people like Paul make you feel that is a priority." Since his superb turn in Gladiator, Phoenix has decided against appearing in further blockbusters, though noted, "If every single movie was The Master it would be a pretty boring world out there. I think it's fine to have those blockbusters. I'm not against those movies. I just don't want to experience them." He has a similar outlook on awards season, recently telling Interview magazine, "I think it's bullsh*t. I think it's total, utter bullsh*t, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. 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." He may be forced to at least nibble on the carrot should he be - as expected - nominated for a slew of awards in the coming months. Though Daniel Day Lewis is the overwhelming favourite to win the Best Actor for Lincoln, Phoenix isn't far behind in the betting, at around 3/1.
The Master's producer Harvey Weinstein - famous for his awards season nous - will at least have Oscar's mainstay Philip Seymour Hoffman around for the publicity push. In fact, the veteran is almost certain to win Best Supporting Actor for his L Ron Hubbard-like role.