Joaquin Phoenix made headlines this week when he told Interview Magazine that he does not care if he wins an Oscar for his performance in The Master:
I think it’s total, utter bullshit, 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 has already been nominated for an Oscar twice — for best actor for Walk the Line (2006) and best supporting actor for Gladiator (2001). Maybe he is bitter about being nominated and not winning? Or just expressing disdain for the whole nomination process? In any event, plenty of movie and pop stars have also been at their wit’s end with Hollywood. Some have even found it cathartic to parody the entire lifestyle. Let’s revisit celebrities’ best gripes about the entertainment industry — and what befell the actors who dared talk smack about Tinseltown.
(LIST: Top Celebrity Excuses)
“I just find actors so shitty, I just hate them. Ego is funny to me…I just wanted to mock celebrities.” — Zach Galifianakis to Moviefone (2011). The Hangover star was referring to his Funny or Die show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, in which he interviews popular celebrities in a way that makes fun of celebrity TV interviews. This summer, he made fun of hapless political candidates, playing the underdog candidate obsessed with pugs who challenges incumbent congressman Will Ferrell.
“I never wanted to be a movie star. And I didn’t become an actor to become famous. I genuinely didn’t.” — Clive Owen to The Daily Mail (2012). Clive Owen was talking about his first true love: the theater. He discovered he liked to act when he played Oliver in a school production. The Children of Men (2006) star earned one Oscar nod and one Golden Globe win for best supporting actor in Closer (2004) in 2005.
“I hated acting, acting and the whole circus around it.” — Gwyneth Paltrow to New York Magazine (2005). Paltrow decided to “quit” acting in 2004 after she and her husband, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, welcomed their daughter Apple into the world. She was also still mourning the loss of her father Bruce, who died in 2002 from cancer. She just decided she needed a break. After all, she started acting in her late teens and did a string of movies in her twenties, nabbing a 1999 Academy Award for best actress in Shakespeare in Love (1998). But she returned to acting in 2006, starring in Running With Scissors (she also starred in Proof, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer prize-winning play, which came out in 2005). She even branched out of the film world, belting out pop songs on the hit TV show Glee between 2010 and 2011.
“It’s not about if you’re good or bad, it’s about whether you are wearing the right clothes that day. Who cares?” — Julie Delpy to The Guardian (2012). The British actress was talking about how she has never really felt like she has fit into the Hollywood scene. She told The Guardian that she never goes to Oscar parties, even declining Vanity Fair‘s illustrious one. She lambasted Hollywood’s cookie cutter idea of what women should look like, citing one time when an agent told her to stop writing the sequel to Before Sunrise (starring Ethan Hawke), her breakthrough film, and “do something useful like go to the gym.” The agent fired her that day, too. Well, she sure showed that agent when the sequel, Before Sunset (2004), ended up earning her an Oscar nomination for best screenplay. Instead of trying to fit the mold, she pokes fun at the mold. For instance, she wrote 2 Days in New York, a sequel to her 2007 film 2 Days in Paris, because she did not think Hollywood has done any romantic comedies that realistically capture the love lives of middle-aged women.
“I don’t find Hollywood interesting, so I’m thinking about studying architecture. A film is a product and as an actor you can only sell it if you sell yourself.” — Hayden Christensen told The Sun (2005). The Star Wars actor never became an architect full-time and continues to act.
“I hate Hollywood and I don’t want to work there. I will stop hanging around with the people that are bad for me.” — Lindsay Lohan to her father Michael Lohan, according to Hollywood.com (2007). The Mean Girls actress vowed to end her mean streak of drinking and drug-using as long ago as 2007. Since then she has committed numerous probation violations and endured short jail stints. Yet she has still found time to make movies in between her various encounters with the law. She is playing the late Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor in Liz & Dick, the Lifetime TV biopic that will debut on Nov. 25.
“I have the right to choose whether or not I want to be a celebrity, and I don’t want to be one.” —Lady Gaga told Rolling Stone (2010). Lady Gaga is constantly breaking the boundaries on what can be done in the entertainment world. She does not dress the way pop stars do, for instance; her meat dress is the best example. And her performances are anything but typical. Remember when she arrived at the 2011 Grammy Awards in an egg? She does not take pride in being thin; she has been boasting her curves and weight gain as part of the Body Revolution. In fact, she announced on Oct. 18 that she is launching a healthy water brand to promote healthy eating.
“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” — Marilyn Monroe. The star’s famous line sums up the premium on beauty (not brains) in Tinseltown. The Blonde Bombshell was found dead in her L.A. home in 1962, and many speculated it was either a suicide or a drug overdose.