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Gray Slams Phoenix's Rap Career

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Mar 27, 2009 | 5:38am EDT

Two Lovers director James Gray has hit out at the film's star Joaquin Phoenix -- insisting the actor is "making a fool of himself" by launching a rap career.

Phoenix recently announced that he has quit acting in order to become a hip-hop star and has since made a string of bizarre public appearances.

Last month the actor sported a scraggly beard, hid behind sunglasses, chewed gum and gave brief answers as he promoted Two Lovers on The Late Show with David Letterman.

And Gray is furious with Phoenix for failing to cooperate with the TV host -- because his strange actions drew public attention away from the film.

He says, "It's like, Letterman was trying to get the movie out there, but the only thing that's out there now is a crazy person with a beard making a fool of himself!"

Internet gossips have speculated that Phoenix's turn as a rapper is a hoax, and the rumors were fuelled when it was revealed that the star's brother-in-law, Casey Affleck, is filming his musical efforts for a documentary.

But Gray fears the Oscar nominee is taking his new project seriously.

He adds, "I’ve seen him in his house, and he has his own recording studio that he built right there. So if this is a hoax, then it’s the most elaborate thing that I have ever seen.

"If it is shown to be a hoax, then that's great, because Joaquin will come back to acting. And he is something special. But if it isn't, you know, I think he needs, well, help."

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