Joaquin Phoenix's most recent movie director feels responsible for his bizarre career change.
The Oscar-winning star has come under intense scrutiny following his decision to become a rapper, which has seen him grow an unkempt beard and appeared disheveled and incoherent during recent interviews.
"Two Lovers" director James Gray is concerned he played a part in the actor's foray into hip-hop.
He said: "That rap thing in the movie actually comes from something I played for him. It turns out that Joaquin is imitating me in a lot of the movie. He said, 'I want to do the rap that you used to do.' I said, 'OK.'"
"Then I find he's built a recording studio in his house. He's working with Diddy. I tried to talk him out of it. He got very angry."
"I feel very bad about it... like I'm the guy who destroyed Joaquin Phoenix. I said to him, 'Is it my fault?' He said, 'It's not. Forget it.' I still feel bad."
James, who also directed the 34-year-old star in "The Yards" and "We Own The Night," admits he has always been bemused by many of Joaquin's behavioral traits.
He added: "Joaquin is his own man. He's a true artist. For 15 years, he hasn't watched his own movies. I said, 'Why haven't you seen them?' He said, 'I don't want to repeat myself.' I said, 'Buddy, it's over for you now. Why don't you watch this one?' I hope he'll be like Sean Penn and retire 42 times."
Joaquin recently appeared on The "David Letterman Show," where his career change decision was mocked by the host and studio audience.
Joaquin said: "I have been working on my music. I am doing hip-hop music."
"This isn't a joke. Why are they laughing?"
As the laughter grew louder, an upset-looking Joaquin insisted: "I am serious about this. What is it with this maniacal laughter in here? I don't get it. Is this supposed to be fun?"