Joaquin Phoenix is all but certain to be among the nominees for Best Actor at the 85th annual Academy Awards, but he's not necessarily looking forward to the honor.
"I think it's bulls--t," Phoenix said about the Oscars in a frank, wide-ranging discussion with Elvis Mitchell in the latest Interview magazine. "I think it's total, utter bulls--t, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other ... It's the stupidest thing in the whole world."
Phoenix raced to the front of early Oscar discussion thanks to his startling work in "The Master," Paul Thomas Anderson's epic drama about the duality of man and the origins of a religious movement that's not unlike Scientology. (Phoenix and co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman -- a co-lead in the film, though Hoffman is running in the Best Supporting Actor category -- were honored at the Venice Film Festival for their performances.) The buzz around Phoenix has dimmed in recent weeks, however, with "The Master" struggling to find a theatrical audience and Daniel Day-Lewis' much-ballyhooed turn in "Lincoln" living up to its advanced hype. At the Oscar predictions site GoldDerby.com, only six out of 24 experts still have Phoenix ahead of Day-Lewis on the Best Actor charts.
This isn't the first time Phoenix has been under consideration for an Academy Award. He was nominated in the Supporting Actor category for 2000's "Gladiator," and was among the Best Actor finalists for 2005's "Walk the Line."
"It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that," Phoenix told Mitchell. "I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it -- and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it -- but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things."
For more on Phoenix, head over to Interview Magazine. "The Master" is out in theaters now; the 85th annual Academy Award nominations are announced on Jan. 10, 2013.