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'Joker' Star Joaquin Phoenix Says Awards Make Him Uncomfortable

In 2008, Joaquin Phoenix pretended to walk away from Hollywood. It was a charade exit, part of his fake documentary, I'm Still Here. At this week's Oscars, Phoenix will be up for Hollywood's highest honour.

The 45-year-old is nominated for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Joker.

The nomination is the fourth the Academy has conferred on Phoenix. Two previous recognitions in the leading role category came for The Master (2012) and Walk the Line (2005). His first nomination as a supporting actor was for Gladiator (2005). Phoenix has never won an Oscar.

In January, 60 Minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper profiled the often interview-adverse actor. In an unaired video, Phoenix reveals how accolades were not part of his upbringing.

Joaquin Phoenix poses in the Winners Room during the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 at Royal Albert Hall on February 2, 2020 in London. Image: Lia Toby/Getty

"I didn't have any experience with the idea of trophies, or the idea of this represents your success," Phoenix told Cooper. "It was never a part of my life."

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What may have been absent from his childhood has become synonymous with Phoenix in 2020. In the last month, the actor has garnered a Screen Actors Guild Award and British Academy Film Award. At both ceremonies, his impassioned speeches went viral.