Phoenix is an extremely thorough and hard-working actor who takes great pains to research and prepare for every role. For his role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed drama 'The Master' in which Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, a semi-homeless former serviceman, who comes to the attention of charismatic cult leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), he studied animals in captivity to prepare for this scene – and the toilet smashing was apparently unintended.
Starting with his performance as a troubled teen in 'Parenthood', some of Phoenix's most critically acclaimed performances are in 'To Die for', 'Walk the Line', 'The Master', 'Gladiator'.
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