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Oddball Joaquin Phoenix Insists Red Carpet Frog Outburst Was a Joke

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Nov 21, 2005 | 7:52am EST

Actor Joaquin Phoenix insists too much fuss is being made about red carpet claims he made about a frog eating his brains—he was joking in a bid to escape mundane press questions.

The media-shy Gladiator star asked one reporter, "Do I have a large frog in my hair? Something's crawling out of my scalp," during an interview outside a screening for his new movie Walk the Line.

The quirky comment prompted many journalists, who overheard the strange chat, to question Phoenix's sanity, suggesting he was still struggling with the alcohol demons that sent him into rehab at the beginning of the year.

But the shy movie star insists the hacks covering the event simply didn't share his sense of humor.

He says, "I made it up. It entertained me. I do a lot of that kind of thing."

Eccentric Phoenix proved his point further this week when he muttered in a made-up language on a talk show he was appearing on to promote the new film.

He adds, "You get tired of being asked the same questions and I like to make interviews more interesting. I use a joke language that me and two friends created to spice up interviews.

"I really don't mind when people call me odd—because I am."

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