April 1, 2009

‘Lovers’ director calls Phoenix a ‘fool’

Director James Gray says he is still unhappy with U.S. actor Joaquin Phoenix's behavior while he was promoting their new film Two Lovers.

The New York Post said Gray is angry because the media paid more attention to Phoenix's disheveled new look -- and his announcement that he is retiring from acting and pursuing a hip-hop career -- than they did to Lovers, which co-starred Gwyneth Paltrow.

Phoenix notably wore sunglasses and a wild-looking beard during an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, in which he offered bizarre, often unintelligible replies to Letterman's questions. The actor's conduct on the show and at other recent events have prompted some to speculate he is playing an elaborate hoax since it is all being captured on film by Phoenix's brother-in-law Casey Affleck.

It's like, Letterman was trying to get the movie out there, but the only thing that's out there now is a crazy person with a beard making a fool of himself, Gray told The Times of London.

Towards the end of the movie he kept saying, 'I'm tired... I don't want to act anymore,' Gray said, recalling Phoenix's demeanor on the set of Lovers. But I must say, I've seen him in his house, and he has his own recording studio... if this is a hoax, then it's the most elaborate thing that I have ever seen.

Phoenix has been nominated for Oscars for his work in Gladiator and Walk the Line.