By Dave Campbell | February 16, 2009
I’m a fan. Not only am I a fan of his work as an actor but of his work as an activist.
Phoenix is an extremely involved social & animal rights activist, lending support to charities and humanitarian organizations including Amnesty International, The Art of Elysium, HEART, and The Peace Alliance, & The Lunchbox Fund, (serves on Board of Directors) a charity that provides lunches for poverty-stricken school children in South Africa. Phoenix has been a Vegan since the age of three and is a member of In Defense of Animals (I’m also a member), and continues to actively campaign on the behalf of animal rights. Phoenix narrated Earthlings in 2003 for Nation Earth. Earthlings covers the reality of animal abuse in factory farming, pet mills, and industry experimentation. He was awarded the “Humanitarian Award” at the San Diego Film Festival in 2005.
As most of you may know, he has been heavily covered in the press for the last couple of months due to a drastic change in his behavior and image. He has claimed to be done with acting and now pursues a career in hip-hop. I’m not one to create further gossip on the subject, but there is speculation as to whether he is having a break down, on drugs, or creating an elaborate hoax. It must must pointed out that the early years of his life may be catching up with him. Between the Children of God cult that his family was temporarily involved in and the tragic death of his brother River, it is possible that delayed affects have caught up with him. It also must be mentioned that Joaquin’s brother-in-law Casey Affleck is currently directing a documentary on him and his move to making hip-hop music.
So whatever the reason for his sudden change, I hope he finds his way back to the acting craft. If it turns out that he never left and is currently fooling us all…then I say “Well played Sir, well played!”
Below is the video from his Late Show appearance on 2.11.09:
Below is his Las Vegas performance at club LAVO in January 2009: