Casey Affleck came clean to The New York Times today, admitting that his Joaquin Phoenix meltdown documentary I’m Still Here was in fact a phony piece of performance art. It seems amusing in hindsight that each time Deadline referred to the film in the past few months as a “mockumentary,” the filmmakers and distributor Magnolia Pictures became incensed. This revelation is about as shocking as when Vince McMahon revealed that professional wrestling bouts were prearranged.
More interesting: the NYT unearths an interview done with Late Show with David Letterman writer Bill Scheft in Nuvo.com where he admits that the fix was in on Letterman’s famed interview of Phoenix. “That was all an act… Think Andy Kaufman without shaving. That’s what he was doing. And Dave knew about it and Dave loved it because he could play along. He could do whatever he wanted with it. And he did, and it was great television. But I will take credit for the line, ‘I think I owe Farrah Fawcett an apology.’ I gave that to him during the break.”
Affleck tells the NYT that “I hope Joaquin gets nominated for all kinds of awards. He deserves it.” But Letterman and Phoenix hosed their respective audiences, and they don’t give awards for that. As for Casey, he’s too good an actor to waste two years following around his brother-in-law to film a joke many feel doesn’t have a good enough punch line.