Matt Damon on Joaquin Phoenix in ‘I’m Still Here’

Actors on actors

“The great performance that’s going to be overlooked is Joaquin Phoenix in ‘I’m Still Here.’ I knew it was a performance, and, when you know that, you realize what an exceptional performance it actually is. In the next decade Joaquin will probably do five or six more ‘Walk The Line’ caliber performances and then everyone in 10 years is going to look back and go, ‘Oh my God, what he did in ‘I’m Still Here’ is incredible.’

That term ‘brave performance’ or ‘courageous performance’ — I’ve never really believed in it. What’s a brave performance? Give me a break. But that performance is brave because he really risked his actual career and his own image. He’d worked really hard to have the image of a conscientious, terrific young actor and he absolutely threw that away just for this performance. I think it’s an incredible thing. I’ve never seen another actor do that. Ever.

I know him and he’s a very shy guy and a very humble guy. So to see this outrageous thing that he did — I was just blown away by it.”

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