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Clint Eastwood says “Hoover” is for DiCaprio, not Phoenix

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: “I’m Still Here” seems to have done more harm than good for Joaquin Phoenix, leaving us wondering if the industry can take the once-serious actor seriously after his PR stunt project with brother-in-law Casey Affleck?

One telling line in Clint Eastwood’s recent response to a reporter leads me to believe Phoenix has a lot more ground to cover on the long road to image rehabilitation.

Eastwood was promoting his latest picture “Hereafter” with media stops throughout New York City last weekend when Reuters asked about the state of his planned J. Edgar Hoover biopic. The journo asked Eastwood about rumors that Phoenix – an extremely talented actor – was in the running for the lead role.

“No. I don’t know where that came from … didn’t he become a rapper?” Eastwood said.

Well, no. He pretended to become a rapper for a faux-documentary that was supposed to tear the lid off of our culture’s obsession with celebrity, but it was all staged and he’s really still an actor, and he’d love to get a job because that was all a big prank, and … oh, forget it. It takes too long to explain.

And that’s the problem. Influential directors like Eastwood might have seen the presumably fake Phoenix, the one who flamed out on Letterman and grew that Grizzly Adams beard, but didn’t catch the mea culpa or the announcement by both Phoenix and Affleck that it was a hoax. All they know is that Phoenix went crazy, and is therefore unemployable. Oh, someone will take a chance on him again. He’s just too talented to ignore for too long. But he won’t be playing Hoover for Eastwood.

Meanwhile, an actor who has carefully crafted his reputation and, as a result, gets offered all of the top roles is in the running for Eastwood’s biopic: Leonardo DiCaprio. The director said DiCaprio wants the role and is negotiating contracts to make it happen.

“It’s a great role for him,” Eastwood said.

And Phoenix? He could always cut a rap album in his free time.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • May 5, 2011 | Permalink |

    —AS Hollywood ‘eases into’ its third decade of concealing
    the ever unfolding, ‘EUGENICS friendly’ RED Chinese Halocaust

    AS BOTH the 50th and 60th Anniversaries of the awesomely
    relevant KOREAN WAR are ‘overlooked’

    AS the greatest world nuclear disaster in world history (FUKISHIMA)
    is being buried by media as we write

    ———————STILL MORE ill-timed, cunningly demoralzing,
    POST American offerings from your favorite whispery cowboy
    ‘EYE con’————–

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