Joaquin Phoenix doesn't think he's got this acting thing down yet. "I don't know my craft! Every f**king movie, I feel like it's my first. I'm uncontrollably shaking, physically nervous."
It's a different attitude for a three-time Academy Award nominee: the man who took home a 2005 Golden Globe for his portrayal of music legend Johnny Cash in Walk The Line (not to mention a Grammy for the soundtrack).
From his home in Mulholland Drive at the top of the Hollywood Hills, he tells Sanjiv Bhattacharya about why he thinks his career is down to luck, ("I don't deserve to be here!") not thinking too much of himself, ("If you ever take your jacket off on-set and just hold it out while you're talking to the director because you expect a wardrobe person to grab it – that's when it's time to go home") and not getting papped too much ("Every now and then there'll be a picture of me filling up my gas tank and I'll freak the f**k out.")
For the most candid interview you're likely to see from the unpredictable star, pick up the December issue of Esquire, out this Thursday 7 November.