Joaquin Phoenix Shocks With Retirement Announcementby Matt McDaniel | October 29, 2008 Joaquin Phoenix, who turned 34 years old just yesterday, stunned E! Online reporter Jason Kennedy with the announcement that he would be retiring from acting. The two-time Oscar nominee stated this on the red carpet at a Monday benefit for the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, a charity founded by Paul Newman.
Phoenix said that "Two Lovers," his upcoming romantic drama with Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw, will be his final on-screen role.
"This will be my last performance as an actor. I'm not doing films anymore... I've been through that. I've done it... I'm dead serious."
Phoenix is apparently giving up acting to pursue music, a passion of his since he learned to play guitar to play the role of Johnny Cash in 2005's "Walk the Line." According to Billboard, Phoenix is working on an album with Tim Burgess, frontman for the UK group The Charlatans. Burgess said, "Once he learnt guitar he found that he had quite a lot of demons inside himself that he wanted to expel through music.
Phoenix appeared at the charity event on Monday with his brother-in-law, Casey Affleck. Affleck is married to Phoenix's younger sister, Summer. In explaining his retirement decision, Phoenix said, "It's Casey's time now."
Affleck confirmed for E! Online that Phoenix is telling the truth when he says he's leaving the acting profession, saying, "I guess he's getting into music. He's putting out an album." But both Affleck and Phoenix hurried away from the cameras without elaborating.
"Two Lovers," Phoenix's final film, premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival to mostly positive reviews. Ray Bennett of The Hollywood Reporter writes, "Phoenix plays the romantic lead with great intelligence and enormous charm, making his character's conflict utterly believable." The picture is scheduled for release on February 13th, 2009. So far there is no word on when Phoenix's first album will hit shelves.