WHAT in the world is going on with Joaquin Phoenix? Joaquin spent some time earlier this year in rehab for his drinking — has been "acting very oddly" while promoting the Johnny Cash biopic.
"It seems like he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown," said one insider.
During an interview with the Associated Press at the movie’s L.A. premiere on Friday night, Phoenix asked the reporter: "Do I have a large frog in my hair? . . . Something’s crawling out of my scalp."
When the reporter assured Phoenix he "looked great," the actor replied, "No, but I feel it. I’m not worried about the looks. I’m worried about the sensation of my brain being eaten . . . What did you ask me?"
Phoenix’s publicist, Sue Patricola, told PAGE SIX: "I think a fly flew on his head. I was standing right there and was laughing with him. He then went right back to the press line. He’s doing interviews every damn day. And no, he’s not having a nervous breakdown and is still sober. He’s fantastic."
The day before, Phoenix was supposed to do a full day of interviews during the media junket for the movie, with co-stars Reese Witherspoon as the Man in Black’s talented wife, June Carter Cash.
Phoenix did a round of interviews with the print media at the W in L.A.’s Westwood but had a meltdown half way through the day.
One spy said: "In the middle of the print interviews he stood up and said, ‘I can’t do this. I have done 40 other [bleeping] interviews today,’ and then walked out. He didn’t do the radio group at all."
Patricola said: "There was no meltdown. He did not do radio because he doesn’t like the medium. He’s not comfortable with it."
A radio source fumed: "Doesn’t like radio? He plays Johnny Cash, for chrissake — and Johnny’s music was played on the radio! Reese Witherspoon sat through everything even though she had a case of sinusitis — but he can’t do the interviews?"
The next day, Friday, during the television interviews, he was "just as difficult," and "cut interviews short and repeated that he ‘can’t do this any more’ in just about every session. He looked like he was having a breakdown."
Patricola responded: "He was done and didn’t want to do any more. I can’t blame him — he has been working like crazy. He has never done this much press."