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Joaquin Phoenix talks Doctor Strange and participating in franchise films

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Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Joaquin Phoenix says he likes watching big-budget franchise movies, but don’t expect to see him signing up to star in one.

In an interview with Time Out London to promote his new film Irrational Man, Phoenix opened up about working with Woody Allen, filmmaking, and what he learned from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (he recalls his The Master co-star as being “so thoroughly about the truth of the moment”). The actor also touched on the rumors that he was initially considered for the title role in Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange, openly detailing that the reason for his disinterest came from what seems to be a common concern among actors who are used to creative freedom: the restraints that come with participating in a big-budget franchise. 

“When I was younger I was probably a bit of a snob about that. But they’ve gotten better,” Phoenix told Time Out. “I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character. I’ve been spoiled. I’ve never had to make those compromises.” Phoenix went on to clarify that he’s not intentionally trying to be difficult, despite what filmmakers think.

“I’m just trying to find what works for me,” he said. “I don’t want to commit to something and not fulfill those obligations. I enjoy watching those movies. Did you see the rebooted Star Trek? That kid Chris Pine who plays Kirk is f—ing genius. I just don’t know if I want to have the experience of being in them. I’ve read some of those scripts and 75 percent is a description of some asteroid going through space.”

You can read Phoenix’s full interview on Time Out‘s website.

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