As readers and audience, we’re used to reading interviews that usually have a motive, an endgame, where the interviewer is supposed to extract some information out of the interviewee but these are the kind of interviews that we expect. So when Interview Magazine decided to interview Joaquin Phoenix, they chose Will Ferrell for the job. Their telephonic conversation ups the bizarre scale quite a few notches but it’s the kind of bizarre that makes you read on.
Sample this, Phoenix starts off by calling out the redundancy of interviews and says, “Don’t you hate when these interviews drag on and on, and it’s like, “F*ck it, I’ve got things to do. I don’t have time to sit around and read this bullshit”.” To which Ferrell replies, “Let’s just call it. That would look so funny in print.” and Phoenix goes, “I think it would be great, but what do I know?”
In all honesty, this could be called the most casual conversation that we’ve read in print by these two actors.
Phoenix’s nonchalant attitude makes this conversation even more fluid. Ferrell asks him, “Are you doing this interview to promote something specific?” and Phoenix replies quite casually, “Honestly, I have no idea. I do appear in a few movies that are coming out at some point this year.”
From talking about their collaboration with Gus Van Sant to talking about horses, this conversation takes many weird turns. Ferrell asks Phoenix if he is tired of questions like “What drew you to the role?” or “How did you prepare for it?”. While Phoenix doesn’t have a strong opinion on the same, it definitely reads like Ferrell would skip such interviews on any given day.
But the funniest bit comes in when Ferrell asks, “When you worked with M. Night Shyamalan, did you ever just once call him M. Night Shyamalamadingdong?” and pat comes the reply “No”.
They are both not big fans of photo shoots and social media and this gives them even more to bond about.
After Ferrell is convinced that he has done the job he was assigned he says, “Well, I think we’ve covered all the pertinent topics.” and Phoenix’s reply just says it all, “I think we should’ve ended it in the beginning.”