Updated: Mon, 01 Jul 2013 09:15:00 GMT | By Sean Plummer
You know me: When actors play themselves

Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here (2010)

Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here 2010 (© Rex Features)
  • Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here 2010 (© Rex Features)
  • Paul Giamatti in Cold Souls 2009 (© Rex Features)
  • Michael Cera in Paper Heart 2009 (© Rex Features)
  • Billy Idol in The Wedding Singer 1998 (© Rex Features)
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It is to Joaquin Phoenix and director Casey Affleck’s credit that they were able to keep the idea that I’m Still Here was a real documentary alive as long as they did. The hoax started in 2008, with Phoenix announcing his retirement from acting. Then he talked about launching a rap career to be managed by Sean “Diddy” Combs. A disastrous appearance on The David Letterman Show in 2009, in which a bearded, incoherent Phoenix seemed to insult his host, was followed by the film’s appearance in 2010. Was it real? Was it a joke? Affleck later admitted that the whole thing was staged, apparently as a (rather unfunny) commentary on the public’s relationship with celebrity.