Star Joaquin Phoenix Thought ‘The Master’ Was a Comedy

Published 3 years ago by

Joaquin Phoenix Thought The Master Was a Comedy Star Joaquin Phoenix Thought The Master Was a Comedy

Though the film doesn’t release in theaters until next Friday, The Master is already gathering positive buzz for everyone involved – including director Paul Thomas Anderson and star Philip Seymour Hoffman. But most will agree the real performance to watch is going to be that of Joaquin Phoenix, who had been out of the acting game for nearly four years.

Phoenix is garnering as much awards show buzz as his fellow cast members for his turn as Freddie Quell – a WWII veteran who finds love and solace in a new religion called ‘The Cause.’ However, the film will also give audiences a chance to see if the talented actor still has it – after his time making the (alleged) mockumentary I’m Still Here had even his biggest fans questioning the actor’s perception of reality.

To that point, the actor has revealed his first impressions of The Master after viewing a rough cut of the film. Rather than label it a masterpiece or P.T. Anderson’s next greatest film, though, Phoenix tells Time Magazine he “laughed the entire time watching it.”

A strange description considering Anderson is mostly known for dramas (albeit with spats of humor thrown in), but apparently Phoenix likes to revel in the uncomfortable, and finds it “hilarious.”

“I’ve seen a rough version, with no score. I thought it was a comedy. I did! I laughed the entire time I was watching it. I was sitting with Paul and I said to him, ‘This is hilarious.’”

Considering Phoenix’s approach to I’m Still Here - a “film” that required he commit whole cloth to a rap career and uncomfortable celebrity interactions - it’s not entirely surprising to hear he has an affinity for awkward humor. Phoenix says that his tendency to laugh during uncomfortable moments comes from his personal life.

“I have this horrible sense of humor where I think discomfort is funny—partly because I experience discomfort a lot, and it’s a way of laughing at it and getting a release. “

Joaquin Phoenix in Im Still Here Star Joaquin Phoenix Thought The Master Was a Comedy

Based on extensive viewings of trailers and clips for The Master it’s hard to find evidence of that comedy through-line in Anderson’s actual film, but watching a rough cut without Jonny Greenwood’s score, or any score for that matter, would have definitely been odd. Regardless of Phoenix’s comments, audiences certainly aren’t gearing up for a rip-roaring good time – but they’ll be seeing a finished film.

Phoenix is definitely not the first actor to display a few bizarre personality quirks, nor is he the first to say something in an interview that has moviegoers scratching their heads. However, if his performance in The Master is garnering rave reviews, then we’re glad the actor enjoyed the film as well… in his own way.

The Master will be out in theaters on September 21, 2012.


Source: Time Magazine

TAGS: The master
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  1. As excited as I am for The Master as a film itself my biggest hopes are that it gets Phoenix back in the saddle as far as acting is concerned.
    He really shot himself in the foot with the mockumentary and his career suffered for it. So I hope that after this people will forgive the mistake he made and he’ll start showing up in more films. I realize he’ll never be in a Superhero film or a Sci-Fi blockbuster but there’s plenty of other work out there for someone as talented as him…

    • Well he was considered for the Hulk at one point so I wouldn’t count him out for a superhero or sci fi film sometime in the future.

    • I would most certainly hope an actor of his talent doesn’t feature in a superhero film or sci-fi blockbuster. They have enough generic actors for those.

      • If it rains your gonna drown. Snobby Mcsnobberson. Generic actors for comic book movies. Get off your high horse so I can knock you back to earth.
        Ot how can you take phoenix seriously in any way shape or form.

    • I think he’s still in the rebuilding process of his career…nowadays Superhero movies are one way to really bring you back. Look at Robert Downey Jr. and what Iron Man did for him.

      I don’t see him, nor do I want him in tights. But I think as say, Doctor Strange, he could play a non-traditional hero that has much more substance to it and still get the boost of being back in General Audiences consciousness.

      • Rdj career is ironman superhero movies didn’t bring his career back he is stuck there.

        • As for RDJ, he might not be stuck in superhero films for so long. There was some rumor he might be in PTAs next project: inherent vice

      • Phoenix isn’t superhero material he needs to stay In films like the master

  2. I would love to see Phoenix in a comedy. That would be cool.

    • The Village doesn’t count as a comedy?

  3. I only heard of this movie a few days ago (sorry Screen Rant) when a BBC News website report mentioned Scientologists trying to get the movie changed or banned due to taking offense at the blatant references to their founder.

    Should be interesting to see what happens on release considering large portions of Hollywood have been sucked into that cult…er….religion.

  4. Joaquin Phoenix is an excellent actor. I loved him in “walk the line” He’s brilliant.

  5. Phoenix is the actor Johnny Depp used to before he went full on mainstream! Loved him in U Turn, Tobby N Tucker!

  6. You know, I just realised something.

    I’ve never seen a single movie that Joaquin has acted in (unless he was in Saving Private Ryan, still surprised Vin Diesel was in that and didn’t know Matt Damon was in it until 2006)

    • He definitely wasn’t in that! He was in Gladiator though, you must have seen that!

      • My favorite of his but mainly cause of Crowe “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!”

      • Never seen Gladiator.

        Wait, I saw the opening 15 minutes and just like with 300 and Sin City, I thought it was kinda boring and overblown so I switched off.

        I’m like that with music too, opinion forms quite quickly.

    • no offense but you’re kinda dumb to not know matt damon was in saving private ryan. he was the title character!!

      • Why is this person on a movie website if they haven’t seen classics like Gladiator and Saving Private Ryan?!

        To see these is as important as watching the Godfather or Citizen Kane, granted Citizen Kane is a chore, but to have a valid opinion in this kind of forum, movie knowledge is pretty important for a comment to be taken seriously

        • Wait, I saw Saving Private Ryan when it debuted on TV in the late 90s.

          Also, I didn’t know who Matt Damon was until years after I saw Saving Private Ryan. The only actor I recognised was Tom Hanks.

          So me not realising who Damon was until he was in much more famous roles years later and me hating what I saw of Gladiator results in people flaming and insulting me and thinking they know everything about me?

          Is Screen Rant not seeing this and enforcing their “no personal attacks” rule?

          Also, for the record, I’ve never seen Citizen Kane either. Only saw It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time last year. How am I not a movie fan if I haven’t had chance to see anything just yet?

          I’m 28 years old and have worked multiple jobs since leaving college, leaving no time to watch many movies. Is that a crime? Am I about to be arrested and made to watch every trashy 60s exploitation movie while being administered eyedrops Clockwork Orange style or something?

          Wow, some people…..

  7. the new Kahn in Star Trek 3..

  8. Haha I love Joaquin! I’m pretty sure he’s clinically insane. Which only makes him a better actor! :)

  9. Joaquin’s acting was something close to great in the Master; for the most part, & as much as I love P.T.A as well; it just seems like the character, Freddy, was never fully developed. I mean people would argue that that’s the genius of it, or I just couldn’t see what he was trying to do. But I’m wondering what kind of direction P.T.A was giving Joaquin, if he himself thought it was a comedy, & he’s read the script. He’s done plenty of things to gain himself some attention, & that’s great for his part; but don’t get famous for the wrong reasons. Overall great film, great music, & great acting by Phillip Seymour Hoffman; I’m close to a cliff with Joaquin’s. You could even say the cinematography wasn’t as memorable as his other pictures; but we all know why that is; but the script was fantastic & is something that deserves recognition.

  10. He’s not a genius or brilliant, just a nutty guy who makes pretend really well here and there. No need to bow or be in awe, the guy has issues a little deeper than most and just happens to have a career that spotlights it.

    The hilarious part is that some people mistake genius for dummy and go ooh ahh over average to barely above average roles.

  11. I’m still here is so obviously a joke. Has anyone actually seen it? I did it was hilarious.

    Phoenix doesn’t even seem that weird to me. He’s a great actor. His career isn’t tarnished or damaged in any way IMO.