You have to at least give Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck an A for effort. For two years, Phoenix's bizarre public behavior, chronicled by brother-in-law Affleck in the actor-turned-director's film 'I'm Still Here,' left observers guessing as to whether they weren't witnessing some kind of epic celebrity meltdown. It couldn't just have been a Method-acting stunt, could it? Because who could remain committed to a course of public self-sabotage for that long?
Alas, it was less than a week after the release of 'I'm Still Here' that Affleck admitted that, yes, the whole thing was a hoax, a grand act of performance art on Phoenix's part. And the revelations keep coming. (The latest: David Letterman, whose train-wreck February 2009 interview with a shaggy, dazed Phoenix appeared to mark the start of the actor's epic slide, was in on the hoax from the beginning, despite an earlier denial from Affleck.)