Joaquin Phoenix regrets calling the Academy Awards the "stupidest thing" in the world.
The 37-year-old actor, who has been nominated for two Oscars, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he hadn't meant to sound ungrateful.
"You know what it's like, you sit and you [expletive] for a couple of hours. You just miss so much of what someone says when it's written down. I guess I sound like a [expletive]," Phoenix told the Herald. "I didn't even know that I was in a position to do something that would cost me something."
Phoenix told the paper that he probably owes a lot to the Oscars for his career success, but felt that there was something off in the "reverence" that people have about the awards circuit.
"I know that first of all, I wouldn't have the career that I have if it weren't for the Oscars. I haven't been in a lot of movies that have made a lot of money," Phoenix said. "Getting nominated for a movie has probably helped my career tremendously. But in some ways it's the antithesis of what you want to be as an actor. You're always trying to free yourself of the artifice, which is really difficult. Especially when you suck, like me... What I was reacting to was sometimes the reverence that we have about these things. I don't want to revere it."
The actor made his original comments to film critic Elvis Mitchell for Interview magazine. When asked about what he would do when put on the awards circuit for his most recent film, "The Master," Phoenix said he didn't want to be a part of it.
"I'm just saying that I think it's bull----. I think it's total, utter bull----, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it," Phoenix told Interview magazine. "It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other ... It's the stupidest thing in the whole world."
"It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that," Joaquin continued. "I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it -- and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it -- but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things."
The sentiment was timely, given the Oscar buzz surrounding Phoenix's Scientology-inspired film, which is likely to bring him and co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman (who Phoenix calls a genius), back to the Academy Awards this year.
In "The Master," Hoffman stars as Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic intellectual who returns shaken from World War II to form a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in the 1950s. Phoenix portrays his troubled follower and right-hand man, Freddie Quell, while Amy Adams portrays Dodd's wife Peggy and "Friday Night Lights" actor Jesse Plemons plays Dodd's son.
Phoenix and Hoffman were jointly awarded the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival on September 9, following the premiere of "The Master." Anderson was also awarded the Silver Lion for Best Director.
The film is being touted as Phoenix's big comeback, following a brief hiatus spent filming the mock-umentary, "I'm Still Here," where he "quit acting" to explore a career in rap. Though the film was considered a confusing flop, the actor said that it was just what he needed before returning to acting.
"The Master" opened in theaters in September. Watch the trailer below.