Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here (2010)
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.