Joaquin Phoenix lookalike or hoaxer?
A story alleging a Joaquin Phoenix lookalike is lurking around Toronto appears to be a publicity stunt generated by Darryl Komaromi, the man behind the company that issued the press release. Whether it’s connected to the actor’s latest film is still anybody’s guess.
The press release created a stir earlier today when it alleged a Phoenix imposter was “on the loose making red carpet appearances everywhere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.”
Problem is it’s Day One of TIFF and there hasn’t been any red carpet events so far. The first will be tonight for Score: The Hockey Musical.
“Fans are being tricked and disillusioned by the fraud who arrives by limousine and is accompanied by a massive entourage of security and scantily clad female groupies,” the statement issued by Nuclear Lounge Media stated. The president of the company is Diamond Darryl K., a.k.a. Darryl Komaromi.
The press release also claims that actor Casey Affleck, who directed the film, I’m Still Here, about Phoenix, his brother-in-law and his life since announcing he was quitting acting two years ago to try to become a hip-hop artist --- is “aware” of the fraudster and that a statement will be issued tomorrow night outside the Varsity Theatre prior to the film’s premiere.
Publicist Dana Fields told The Star that neither Affleck or Phoenix are expected in town for the premiere and she had no information about an impersonator.
Komaromi has since provided photos of the doppelganger, sporting a heavy beard much like Phoenix has worn during his recent public appearances.
Adding to the confusion: the film itself. When I’m Still Here premiered recently at the Venice Film Festival --- out of competition --- Affleck parried a number of questions about whether the film, which portrays Phoenix in a very odd light, was real or a mockumentary.
An unnamed publicist, quoted by The Wrap website insisted: “This is not connected to the film, Magnolia (the production company) and neither has anything to do with this.”
But efforts to reach A.M. Public Relations, the Toronto film handling publicity for the film, and its principal, Anna Maria Mucilli have been unsuccessful, leading to questions about whether the stunt by Nuclear Lounge is part of a larger plan to promote the film.
The Atlanta company which distributed the press release confirmed that Darryl Komaroni is the principal behind Nuclear Lounge.
A profile of Komaroni on the website, ZoomInfo, lists him as floor producer and video editor at MuchMusic Television. But the profile was last updated two years ago and the switchboard at MuchMusic confirmed his extension there is no longer in service.
The ZoomInfo profile notes Komaroni owns “a huge variety of costumes and props” including those of the Village People and performs on stage in full dress.
Bruce DeMara Entertainment Reporter