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Joaquin Phoenix doesn't think making a blockbuster film would be fulfilling

09.02.2015

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Earlier this year, Joaquin Phoenix was rumored to be in final negotiations to play Doctor Strange, however, as most of you probably know, the role ended up going to Benedict Cumberbatch. Perhaps one of the reasons why he didn't take the part is because he doesn't think doing a blockbuster franchise film would satisfy him as an actor. Phoenix said as much during an interview with Time Out London after being asked if he'd ever consider making a big movie like DOCTOR STRANGE or a Star Wars flick.

Sure. When I was younger I was probably a bit of a snob about that. But they’ve gotten better. I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character. I’ve been spoiled. I’ve never had to make those compromises. I’ve not met a director yet with one of those films where we go through the script, they say: “You know what, fuck this set-piece, let’s focus on the character!” I understand, but it’s best I don’t do it.

Phoenix went on to say although there are probably some filmmakers who think he's hard to please, he's not trying to be a pain in the ass just for the sake of being a pain in the ass.

...I’m not just being difficult. I’m just trying to find what works for me. I don’t want to commit to something and not fulfil those obligations. I enjoy watching those movies. Did you see the rebooted “Star Trek”? That kid Chris Pine who plays Kirk is fucking genius. I just don’t know if I want to have the experience of being in them. I’ve read some of those scripts and 75 percent is a description of some asteroid going through space.

Some actors just don't need roles in big budgeted films to help further their careers, and although he may be a little selective when it comes to his big screen projects, it's not like he's been taking parts in shitty movies. Yeah, IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE and RESERVATION ROAD happened, but there's still more good films than bad ones on his resume, and not doing a bunch of huge movies has worked out pretty well for him so far.

Woody Allen's IRRATIONAL MAN starring Joaquin Phoenix is still playing in select theaters, and last month we learned the actor may reunite with his THE VILLAGE director M. Night Shyamalan for a mystery project.

Source: Time Out London

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9:38AM on 09/03/2015
Can't help but respect his position, and he's not wrong on some of his thoughts. Hope he still does "blockbuster" type movies like Gladiator, even if he's not in to summer tent poles.
Can't help but respect his position, and he's not wrong on some of his thoughts. Hope he still does "blockbuster" type movies like Gladiator, even if he's not in to summer tent poles.
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7:39AM on 09/03/2015
I actually wish more of my favorite character actors would stay away from franchises that bog them down with a five flm contract or what-have-you. Not that they don't always do wonderful jobs (and I love these movies, I'm not being a snob) but I want to see them continue to do smaller films, not take up all their time with big, entertaining, and ultimately shallow blockbusters.
Then again, if everyone had Samuel L. Jackson's insane work ethic, maybe it wouldn't be an issue.
I actually wish more of my favorite character actors would stay away from franchises that bog them down with a five flm contract or what-have-you. Not that they don't always do wonderful jobs (and I love these movies, I'm not being a snob) but I want to see them continue to do smaller films, not take up all their time with big, entertaining, and ultimately shallow blockbusters.
Then again, if everyone had Samuel L. Jackson's insane work ethic, maybe it wouldn't be an issue.
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6:35PM on 09/02/2015
I still remember him trying to be a rapper. So...yeah.
I still remember him trying to be a rapper. So...yeah.
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5:54AM on 09/03/2015
Fooled you I guess
Fooled you I guess
1:35PM on 09/02/2015
Really admire the guy for doing projects that he wants to do and instead of doing blockbusters to keep his name popular. Really was quite excited when it was said he was in final talks with Marvel... its too bad, but i think Cumberbatch is a slightly better choice.
Really admire the guy for doing projects that he wants to do and instead of doing blockbusters to keep his name popular. Really was quite excited when it was said he was in final talks with Marvel... its too bad, but i think Cumberbatch is a slightly better choice.
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11:32AM on 09/02/2015
Frankly I agree with what he's saying. He's not saying the blockbuster films are not good or beneath him. He's just saying that he's never found one that's piqued his interest. And that's fine, he's clearly an actor more concerned with finding a good character rather than a good action set piece. I doubt we can look at his resume and say he has not made some great choices with what movies he's chosen to be in. I'm not sure when or why it became the mark of a good actor to book a superhero
Frankly I agree with what he's saying. He's not saying the blockbuster films are not good or beneath him. He's just saying that he's never found one that's piqued his interest. And that's fine, he's clearly an actor more concerned with finding a good character rather than a good action set piece. I doubt we can look at his resume and say he has not made some great choices with what movies he's chosen to be in. I'm not sure when or why it became the mark of a good actor to book a superhero movie. But I'm impressed with Phoenix's ability to buck Hollywood trends and carve his own path.
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11:28AM on 09/02/2015
I'm so relieved that he admits their quality and that his decision has to do with him. There are still a lot of actors who think that all action movies are brainless. I recently read an interview with Jack Nicholson where he said he wouldn't be in one... even if that meant staying in his unnoficial retirement.
I'm so relieved that he admits their quality and that his decision has to do with him. There are still a lot of actors who think that all action movies are brainless. I recently read an interview with Jack Nicholson where he said he wouldn't be in one... even if that meant staying in his unnoficial retirement.
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11:14AM on 09/02/2015
Sounds like he's really picky about his roles but I admire his stand point.
Sounds like he's really picky about his roles but I admire his stand point.
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10:59AM on 09/02/2015
Is Gladiator not considered a blockbuster? Also, I can respect a guy for sticking by his guns, rather than join a blockbuster movie he does not want to commit to or be in.
Is Gladiator not considered a blockbuster? Also, I can respect a guy for sticking by his guns, rather than join a blockbuster movie he does not want to commit to or be in.
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11:26AM on 09/02/2015
Yes, epic historical dramas can be blockbusters. So can other genres depending on the movie (like JAWS, a horror movie).
Yes, epic historical dramas can be blockbusters. So can other genres depending on the movie (like JAWS, a horror movie).
1:43PM on 09/02/2015
But it's not considered a franchise. And it was ultimately a character-driven story.
But it's not considered a franchise. And it was ultimately a character-driven story.
10:50AM on 09/02/2015
Would have loved to have see him as Doctor Strange, but it's not like he really needs it. I mean he's come a long way since that faux documentary he made, so I'm glad to see him back in the spotlight doing quality films like Her, Inherent Vice, and The Immigrant.
Would have loved to have see him as Doctor Strange, but it's not like he really needs it. I mean he's come a long way since that faux documentary he made, so I'm glad to see him back in the spotlight doing quality films like Her, Inherent Vice, and The Immigrant.
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