Yet in October 2008, during a press interview to promote the critically acclaimed Two Lovers, Phoenix made a shock announcement that he was to retire from acting, declining any future film roles in a bid to reinvent himself as a bona fide hip-hop musician. The resulting documentary, I'm Still Here, turned out to be one of the most extraordinary and memorable pieces of performance art ever committed to film. Born in 1974, Phoenix was a natural performer from an early age, regularly busking on the streets of New York City with his multi-talented siblings. Following in the footsteps of his older brother River, Joaquin decided on a career in acting, and his breakthrough performance alongside Nicole Kidman in To Die For confirmed him as the most intriguing actor of his generation. 13 years later, Phoenix undertook his most challenging role to date: playing a completely reinvented version of himself in Casey Affleck's I'm Still Here. In this in-depth biography, Martin Howden traces the rise of this unique actor, from his early career as a child star, though to his Oscar nominated performance in Walk the Line, and subsequent reinvention. Fascinating and compelling this is the first biography of one of the most complex actors working in film and the full story behind one of the most intriguing films ever to have come out of Hollywood.