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Joaquin Phoenix breakdown a fake?

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Joaquin not wacky

Joaquin Phoenix and his career destruction may well be a fake.

Joaquin not wackyAnd thank God for that.

Joaquin Phoenix told the public that he was quitting acting to pursue a career in hip hop. Yes, the white, overweight, bearded hippie actor wants to be a rapper. Who knew?

Phoenix gave pretty much the world's most horrible rap performance in Vegas recently, coming out at a local club with a three-song set that he capped off by falling off the stage.

But it all seems very Andy Kaufman-esque to us. And sources are saying that it is indeed a fake.

"It's an art project for him," says a friend. "He's going full out. He probably has told his reps that he's quit acting. Joaquin is very smart. This is very conscious. He has a huge degree of control."

"He said, 'It's a put-on,'" another source adds. "'I'm going to pretend to have a meltdown and change careers, and Casey is going to film it.'"

The point, they say, is to lampoon the hugely pompous egos of celebrities who think they can make the public buy anything, and the press that follows it.

Totally stole the idea from Ashton Kutcher.

Phoenix's publicist is denying the whole thing and insisting his sadly misguided new path is the real deal.

"The transition from one career to another is never seamless. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Joaquin came from a musical family, in addition to winning a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Johnny Cash... He intends on exploring his musical interests despite speculative, negative or positive reactions," Susan Patricola tetlls MTV News.

So, weird art project or complete and utter breakdown? You decide!

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