After all of the stewing over whether or not Casey Affleck’s film of Joaquin Phoenix’s unraveling, “I’m Still Here,” is real or just an elaborate joke, Affleck has finally admitted that it is, in fact, a performance.
“It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career,” Affleck told The New York Times, referring to Phoenix’s oddball behavior, like that bizarre interview on “Late Show with David Letterman” in February, 2009. He was performing then, too, Affleck confirms.
But that performance was necessary to “create a space,” Affleck explained, in order for people to “believe what’s happening is real.”
In actuality, the director told the Times, the mockumentary – we feel it’s pretty safe to call it that now – consisted of “multiple takes, these are performances.” His intent was to show audiences what the “disintegration of celebrity” looked like without them walking in with any “preconceived notions.”
Affleck added that when Phoenix appears on “Letterman” on September 22, he won’t be in character.
“I never intended to trick anybody,” Affleck said. “The idea of a quote, hoax, unquote, never entered my mind.”