Being a celebrity that passionately decries the concept of ‘celebrity’ is sort of a thing in some corners of Hollywood and music town. Remember Fiona Apple’s infamous “the world is bullshit” speech from the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards?
Joaquin Phoenix is the latest celebrity to compare the award show circuit to a big ‘ol pile of poo. The Master actor told Interview that he has no interest in the Oscars, nor any other film institution that would like to present him with an award.
“I’m just saying that I think it’s bullshit. I think it’s total, utter bullshit, 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. It’s totally subjective. Pitting people against each other…It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world,” he says. “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. 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.”
While the “art is subjective and can’t be judged” undertones are a tad trite, it’s interesting to see him essentially dismantle the industry he chose to be a part of. Press junkets and scheduled appearances are celebrity versions of pushing paper–tedious, bureaucratic tasks that you “never signed up for” (even though you did). Still, The Master will probably be nominated in its category, and it’s possible Phoenix will receive an acting nod as well (though being loud and anti-establishment is often frowned upon by the establishment).
The full interview, available here, is definitely worth checking out. Phoenix doesn’t just bash the Academy; he talks candidly about past film roles, working on The Master, racism off-screen, and how all white people should watch Jumping the Broom. [Indiewire]