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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Joaquin Phoenix to quit acting to play guitar.

Cheers to Del for passing me this from The Guardian.

Joaquin Phoenix, the twice Oscar-nominated star of Gladiator and the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, has announced his decision to retire from acting to pursue a career in music.

Phoenix said this to a presenter for US celebrity TV show Extra at a benefit for a Paul Newman-backed charity in San Francisco last night. Phoenix had been on stage performing with Hollywood glitterati such as Julia Roberts, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Warren Beatty, Danny DeVito and Sean Penn in a one-off production of Ernest Hemingway's The World of Nick Adams.

"I want to take this opportunity ... also to give you the exclusive and just talk a little bit about the fact that this will be my last performance as an actor," Phoenix told the shocked reporter. "I'm not doing films any more." The actor's representative later confirmed the news.

Phoenix has been working on an album with Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess. The move into music follows his successful turn in Walk the Line, in which the actor performed all of Cash's famous songs. In addition to his Oscar nomination for best actor, Phoenix won a Grammy for his work on the soundtrack.

It's not the first time Phoenix has turned his back on acting. In the 1990s, after establishing a fledgling career as a child actor under the name Leaf, he withdrew for a time to travel to Mexico and South America with his father. Then in 1993, following the death by drug overdose of his brother River, Joaquin retreated from the public eye once again after his distraught 911 call to the police was recorded and repeatedly played over the airwaves and on television across the globe.

On that occasion it took him a year to return to acting. This time around it looks like the break could be rather longer.

What do you think of that?