Joaquin Phoenix Prefers Not to ‘Interact’ with Friends When They See His Films: ‘Please Don’t Tell Me’ If You Do

"There’s no good version of this," the Oscar winner said of inviting close friends to his movies. "I just feel so weird."
Joaquin Phoenix at the Los Angeles premiere of A24's "Beau Is Afraid"
Joaquin Phoenix at the Los Angeles premiere of A24's "Beau Is Afraid"
The Hollywood Reporter via Getty

Joaquin Phoenix may still be here, but he doesn’t want his friends to be in the audience.

The “I’m Still Here” and “Joker” Oscar winner revealed why he feels uncomfortable inviting close friends to his movies, admitting he doesn’t like to “interact” with pals who have seen his films.

“I’ve had one friend who’s seen the movie, and they texted, ‘I had a blast.’ I don’t know what that is,” Phoenix said during The A24 podcast alongside “Beau Is Afraid” writer-director Ari Aster.

Phoenix continued, “My preference is for people I know not to see anything I’m in just because I don’t want to have to go through that process. That’s the worst thing about going to a screening. Afterwards, people come up, and they have to say something. It’s always uncomfortable.”

The “Her” star added that it’s a matter of taste.

“If somebody says a compliment about something, my impulse is to say, ‘Name five other performances that you thought are really good, or movies,'” he said. “It’s probably best to not interact with your friends when they’ve seen a movie you’ve made. That’s my opinion. I had 10 tickets last night to invite people.”

Phoenix confirmed that he “of course” did not invite anyone to the premiere. “Nobody.”

“It’s also, like, ‘Do you want to come and watch this?’ I just feel so weird,” he admitted. “‘Come see the movie?’ No. There’s no good version of this. Whatever the situation, don’t invite ’em.”

Phoenix concluded with one warning to his inner circle: “Please don’t tell me about it if you do go see it.”

The actor previously told GQ UK in 2020 that he prefers to not watch himself onscreen. During the A24 podcast, he clarified that he hoped writer-director Aster would “be happy” with the final outcome and that his own opinion is irrelevant.

“I want to feel everyone like we’re getting this stuff when we’re working, then after that, you want it to be received well enough where you get another job. But beyond that, nothing anybody can ever say will ever live up to what the experience is,” he summed up. “They viewed this three-hour film, and it was like four months for us. For you, much longer. And any conversation just feels like — I don’t know — anticlimactic.”

Aster agreed, adding, “I find the people that tell me they don’t like something I did, I obsess over them, and the next thing I make, I’m trying to please them.”

Aster and Phoenix are confirmed to be collaborating together again on an upcoming Western noir film.

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