Twenty-three years ago Joaquin Phoenix made his feature film debut, after a fashion, in Gus Van Sant‘s acclaimed 1995 dark comedy, To Die For. While the actor had been gainfully employed as a child star during the ’80s, appearing in movies like SpaceCamp and TV series like Hill Street Blues, he was always billed as Leaf Phoenix. To Die For, then, marked the first time he was credited by his birth name in a major motion picture.
Jump ahead to 2018, and he’s once again headlining a Van Sant joint, the biographical drama, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. Based on the memoir by John Callahan, who passed away in 2010, the film depicts how Callahan transformed early tragedy — an alcohol-caused car accident that left him in a wheelchair — into an acclaimed career as an admired, and controversial, cartoonist. Yahoo Entertainment is debuting an exclusive clip from the movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and opens in theaters on July 13, that depicts the first time that John (played by Phoenix) realizes he needs help to turn his life around and reaches out to an unlikely source played by an unlikely actor: Jonah Hill. (Watch the clip above.)
Yes, that really is the Superbad star as a long-haired Alcoholic Anonymous sponsor named Donnie. Despite (or maybe because of) his Christ-like appearance, Donnie has a healthy sense of humor about himself, as evidenced by the way he refers to his sponsees as “piglets.” That, in turn, tickles Callahan’s dark wit, although his own jokes don’t land as well. “Sometimes I make jokes because I get nervous, but I need something,” he tells his potential mentor, in a touching moment of vulnerability. These two actors may not look like they usually do, but their acting prowess remains recognizable.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot opens in theaters on July 13.
Watch: Darren Aronofsky really wanted Joaquin Phoenix to play Batman in Caped Crusader movie that never was:
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