"The rumors arrived on set before Robert Duvall did. Joaquin Phoenix had heard them. He had heard the actor couldn’t be rattled, that once Duvall was in character, once the cameras rolled, he was unshakable. That bigger names — guys named Brando, De Niro, Coppola — had tried to get him to flub a line, crack up, miss his mark. No luck.
That didn’t stop Phoenix from trying. Off camera, he’d rub Duvall’s earlobes and whisper “such a pretty bunny.” He’d kiss Duvall full on the lips. For a scene that took two hours, Phoenix screamed non-sequiturs to rattle the man who has starred in nearly 100 films. At the end of the scene, Phoenix shook his head and whispered to director James Gray: “Forget it. He’s some sort of Jedi knight.”
-Do not disturb the subtle on-set genius of Robert Duvall