He has checked out and is not coming back anytime soon.
Did you see him on Letterman the other night? He walked onto the stage sporting a suit, smartly accessoried with a Unabomber beard, a hippie bedhead and a pair of sunglasses. He was mostly unresponsive to Letterman’s questions. The few responses he did offer were incoherent mumbles. When Letterman began poking fun at him, he clearly was not in on the joke.
I felt very uncomfortable for Joaquin. It was clear he did not understand what the audience found so funny. For everyone else, it was clear. It was the hair, the beard, the mumbling, the lack of personality. It was so not what anyone would expect from Joaquin given our exposure to his personality to this point. Surely it was a joke, right? Apparently not.
So, what happened? Did the success get to him? Has he suffered a romantic loss? Is he entering a delayed state of mourning for his brother River? (Could happen.)
It seemed pretty evident drugs were involved. If not, I believe it’s time to prescribe them, because Joaquin is in a very scary place…and he doesn’t appear to know the way home.
He says he’s leaving acting. Really? Why? And his new profession is going to be…Hip Hop…Really?
I mean, you can change professions and feel good about it, or you can change professions and not want to talk about it. The former case implies a significant event. What was so bad about acting that he can’t talk about it?
This clearly is not about changing professions. This is about escape.
To people like me who are fans of the old Joaquin Phoenix, this is a very unfortunate turn of events. Given the level of professionalism and grace he had shown prior to this, it seems that something extremely traumatic must have happened to initiate a change this extreme. I only hope he finds his way out of this – and soon!