Safe to say Joaquin Phoenix does not want to thank the Academy. Or say anything flattering about it whatsoever. Despite having been twice nominated by the Oscars, the actor has seen fit to bite the hand that feeds (well, fed) him, telling Interview magazine in no uncertain terms what he thinks of the annual exercise in self-congratulation.
And wow, does he not hold back.
"I think it's bulls--t," he said. "I think it's total, utter bulls--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. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other ... It's the stupidest thing in the whole world."
Phoenix's can't-compare-art comments are hardly an original argument, but it's nonetheless one that's not usually made by someone who's been lauded by the system.
Phoenix has been nominated twice before, both for Best Supporting Actor, for "Gladiator," and Best Actor, for "Walk the Line." And while some actors work their whole life to achieve that kind of recognition, it's an experience Joaquin is not eager to repeat.
"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," he said. "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."
Unfortunately, he may not have a choice. Thanks to his critically lauded role in "The Master," the star is as close as they come to a lock for a Best Actor nomination come next year's 85th annual Academy Awards.
Or, at least, he was before making these latest comments. Guess we'll find out how good the Academy is at holding a grudge.
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