So what's up with Joaquin Phoenix? It started when he announced that he was quitting acting to pursue a music career, then got stranger when said music career became a rap album. After we began to prepare ourselves for the new hip-hopped Phoenix, along came word that he and Casey Affleck would be shooting an "art project" (aka documentary) about Phoenix's journey from acting to music ... and then a little while after that we got word that the whole thing could, in fact, be one big joke, a la some Borat-style shenanigans.

However, while out doing press for his new film Two Lovers, I've heard from several different journalists that Affleck has joined Phoenix at each stop -- going so far as to interview each person who interviews Phoenix, claiming it's for an "art project" and it's not a joke. Finally we get Phoenix's appearance on the David Letterman Show, where the dude is a complete mess. Not only does he wear dark sunglasses and chew gum, but it's pretty obvious he couldn't give two sh*ts about being there as he barely answers Letterman's questions and doesn't even know which clip they brought. Letterman, mind you, is either pissed or going along with the act, and Phoenix just sits there looking like the Unibomber's twin brother. Yeah, you're getting some great publicity out of this guy.

So what do you think is going on here? Is Phoenix just playing some big practical joke? Does he want people to hate him (though I kinda think he's a riot)? Does he want to ruin his career on purpose just to see how long it will take to build back up? Is that the "art project"? Thoughts?

UPDATED to add full interview

[Thanks Dennis P. for passing this along]