Joaquin Phoenix Struggles To Keep Straight Face While Debunking Hoax Rumors

Like a weird uncle who gives his adult nephew a present that reads "From Santa," Joaquin Phoenix is still struggling to prop up a hoax-y music career that's way past its sell-by date.

Phoenix's poor, poor publicist reminded him that he still has one more completed movie to go out there and sell (James Gray's Two Lovers), and so Phoenix has embarked on a press tour that, like his clearly fake rap career, is being filmed by Casey Affleck. Naturally, reporters have about zero interest in Two Lovers and are peppering Phoenix with questions about another cinematic achievement: the video of his terrible, faaaake rap debut in Vegas that was met with rolled eyes from an ahead-of-the-joke internet populace.

"I don't know where that [criticism] comes from," Phoenix said. "If it comes from people that I've had a falling out with, that are (ticked) off at me?" [...]

"There's not a hoax," Phoenix said. "Might I be ridiculous? Might my career in music be laughable? Yeah, that's possible, but that's certainly not my intention." [...]

"It sucks that, yeah, the footage is out there as like this incredibly bad sound, and you literally can't hear what's happening," said Phoenix, who still has his bushy beard. "It was much better in the club, and I don't know who said that people were booing ... because that was not happening.

"Unless, of course, it's a pretty big place, and maybe it was happening," Phoenix added, laughing. "But it was not my experience. My experience afterward was I had a lot of dudes come up and say, `We really respect you for doing it, putting yourself out there, and going with it.' Because I think true hip-hop heads know that it's hard, it's going to be a hard transition, and people are going to be lining up just to make fun of me."

At this point, we're becoming perversely curious to see Affleck's finished film—now that even Phoenix can't make it through an interview without laughing (and yet insists on perpetuating this hoax), his cinematic attempt to lampoon self-involved "pompous actors" takes on new, unintended meaning.