Joaquin Phoenix famously appeared as a supporting actor in Gladiator, as Commodus, and as the lead in Walk the Line, playing Johnny Cash. Despite being Academy Award nominated for both roles, Joaquin decided to ditch his successful career in film to become an insular cringe worthy rapper.
This became apparent to the world when he announced it on the famous David Letterman Show, last year.
He came across as a jaded, washed up star, looking to escape the trappings of celebrity life. This was all indeed a hoax to rouse interest in a mocumentary, directed by Ben Affleck’s brother: Casey Affleck.
Although many people questioned the change in him as being real, he managed to get an extreme amount of free publicity online from bloggers and news sites. He was a trending topic on Twitter for a long while and left many people completely unsure if it was real or not. I unfortunately fell for the stunt myself as he kept it up for a year and a half. He became the subject of thousands of blog posts, probably the biggest celebrity break down in history.
Films continue to lead the way in getting bloggers to generate free publicity. You can see the film: I’m Still Here in UK cinemas now.