After winning the London Critics’ Circle for Best Actor in THE MASTER, Joaquin Phoenix gave many thanks to those around him, and even passed a little praise to Daniel Day-Lewis‘ performance in LINCOLN with a statement.
Phoenix is known to express his feelings. Not too long ago, he said that awards season was “total, utter bullshit” then recently said that he “wouldn’t have the career that I have if it weren’t for the Oscars”. Sounds like a normal guy to me. You say one thing without thinking, then sort of go backtrack when you realize what it was that you had said. I’m sure there’s also a lot of stress that comes with awards season as well.
So in my opinion, the statement doesn’t come off pompous or strange or any of the like. Take a gander for yourself:
“I struggle with the idea of winning awards for acting. Stating I’m Best Actor for something as subjective as film seems strange to me. To the uninitiated it implies I’m solely responsible for the creation and implementation of the character. I am not. I suppose that’s why we thank our colleagues. There are those who you all know such as Paul Thomas Anderson, to whom I am eternally grateful – a man who has persistently searched for the truth. I am fortunate to have been under his guidance. Philip Seymour Hoffman for his patience and advice. Amy Adams for being angry. Megan Ellison and everyone at Annapurna for their support of the film and ensuring that I was able to cover my mortgage. But there are many others who you do not know by name such as Mike Kenna, who I believe was the grip but he did 20 different jobs so I can’t be sure; Adam Somner, the first assistant director; Karen Ramirez in the office; Tommy – I don’t know your last name… there are too many to list. The truth is, you cannot separate my work from their’s. We were a unit bolstered by the same goal: to do our part in helping Paul to achieve his vision. I view this award as recognition of all of our work. I am very cognisant of the fact that for me this award is an encouragement to continue my lifelong passion of being an actor. I will not squander this high regard. P.S. There’s an up-and-coming actor named Daniel who’s in a movie called ‘Lincoln.’ You should check it out.”
Now for the obvious question: Who do you think will take Best Actor at the Oscars? Phoenix or Day-Lewis?