The Best Quotes from That Hilarious Joaquin Phoenix-Will Ferrell Interview
"In your personal life, are you sometimes a little bitch?"
Photo of Joaquin Phoenix by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images. Photo of Will Ferrell by Rosalind O'Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Last month, Interview magazine decided against sending a seasoned interviewer to chat with its April cover star, Joaquin Phoenix, and sent someone who might have a little bit more in common with the actor: comedian Will Ferrell. Sure, both stars have been drawn to vastly different roles, but it turns out that they both hate social media, have played Jesus at one point, and are used to answering derivative interview questions, like "what drew you to this role?"
The entire interview, which dropped last week, is an absolute joy to read. Unlike the fanboy vibe of that Frank Ocean–Timothée Chalamet chat, Interview's Q&A captures two actors well into their careers who don't have a ton of interesting things to say about their lives. Yeah, Phoenix gets to plug a few of his upcoming projects, but the interview really hits on the 43-year-old's self-consciousness about fame, and how great of an interviewer Will Ferrell is.
You should really go read the whole thing for yourself, but we've collected the best exchanges from it here, without context and in no particular order, solely for your enjoyment.
1. "What Is Valentine's Day?"
JOAQUIN PHOENIX: Did you know that it’s Valentine’s Day?
WILL FERRELL: I did. I’m going to a group Valentine’s Day dinner with my wife and four other friends.
PHOENIX: That sounds awful. Can I ask you a question? What is Valentine’s Day?
FERRELL: It’s a holiday, where if you have a loved one, you express love and affection in some way. For kids, they make little cards and they give them to their friends, and then some people just ignore it altogether.
2. First dates
PHOENIX: I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be on a reality show, where you go on a first date, and that’s what this conversation feels like. I feel like I’m trying to do this first date and get to know you, and be natural, and just have a conversation, but I am also aware in the back of my mind that we’re being recorded. I feel like I want to get to know you, but also want to make sure that I look good, and I have my hair right. Did I wear the right jacket? I should’ve worn denim. Is denim cool? I don’t know how to present who I am, and now I feel bad about that.
3. "Horse work"
FERRELL: The few times I’ve done horse work, they’re always like, “Joaquin, you’ll be on Thunderbolt. Will, we’re going to give you Cinnamon here. Cinnamon’s a good old gal. She won’t give you much trouble.”
4. Phoenix on Ferrell's interview style.
PHOENIX: Are you reading off prepared questions and trying to pretend that they’re just popping into your head?
5. Ferrell on Phoenix's personal life.
FERRELL: In your personal life, are you sometimes a little bitch?
PHOENIX: Be more specific.
6. Bananas are somehow like having kids.
PHOENIX: Having bananas around the house is like having kids. I don’t have kids but I have nephews, and I grew up in a big family with a lot of kids, and I have to say that the smell of rotting bananas seemed to permeate the household throughout my entire childhood. [Ferrell laughs] And I feel like, if you wanted to know what it’s like to have kids, you could get a banana and throw it on your bed for a few weeks, then you’d kind of know what you’re going to be dealing with. Because bananas are basically—that’s what toddlers eat, right?
7. Phoenix's work with M. Night Shyamalan.
FERRELL: When you worked with M. Night Shyamalan, did you ever just once call him M. Night Shyamalamadingdong?
FERRELL: Part of me wants to lead a crusade on social media to get rid of social media. #ShutItDown.
9. The Superbowl
FERRELL: [laughs] Well, next year I’ll invite you over to watch the Super Bowl.
PHOENIX: You don’t have to.
FERRELL: You don’t even have to watch it.
PHOENIX: I have a dog, and my girlfriend has a dog.
FERRELL: So there are two. Do they get along?
PHOENIX: They do, and I was actually quite concerned about it because my dog is amazing with people, but sometimes doesn’t do well with other dogs. It was a long process to get them—
FERRELL: To co-exist.
PHOENIX: But now they’re best friends. We were all curled up last night, and it was super sweet.
There you have it. Just two actors talking about the hard-hitting issues. And honestly if Will Ferrell keeps his interviewing up, we all might be out of a job.
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