Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Phoenix: The internet unsettles me

Joaquin Phoenix does not feel comfortable with the publicity that comes with his job

Joaquin Phoenix has revealed he looked himself up on the internet while researching for I'm Still Here and admitted he found it "unsettling".

The Her star pretended to retire from acting to reinvent himself as a hip-hop performer for the 2010 mockumentary he made with friend Casey Affleck, and had to research the public perception of himself.

Joaquin, 39, confessed: "I'm Still Here was the first time in my life when I've gone online to look [myself] up.

"It was very unsettling and something I'm not accustomed to. I never do that, only because I don't trust myself to not be affected by those things.

"I'm a human being and can't help but be affected, so I think it's always best to avoid it."

In his latest film, Her, directed by Spike Jonze, Joaquin plays a lonely writer who falls in love with his computer's operating system, which is called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

Joaquin began acting as a child, and despite Oscar-nominated roles in Gladiator, The Master and Walk The Line, had always maintained a relative distance from the world of celebrity.

And he admits he is still uncomfortable in that world.

"You get inside [a press conference] and there's a bunch of people who've obviously been sitting there for some time, because they've been told to get there for 10am and, of course, everyone's late, so you go in and you're ready for s**t," he said.

"I always get so uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable for journalists as well.

"It must be so nerve-racking. I'm thinking, 'Here's a bunch of people who are all uncomfortable and nervous, what do we do? Why do we do this?' This is not the ideal situation to have a conversation!" he says, laughing.

"It's a strange dynamic and I don't think I'll ever get accustomed to it. I hope I don't. I feel like the moment I'm comfortable with that [attention], it's probably over. It might be over now, but it'll definitely be over then."

:: Her is in cinemas now.

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