Reclusive Pynchon to Cameo in Film Version of His Book?

Director's lips are sealed about author's appearance, but Josh Brolin's aren't
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2014 1:48 PM CDT
Reclusive Pynchon to Cameo in Film Version of His Book?
Joaquin Phoenix stars in the Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's detective novel "Inherent Vice."   (Damjan Plamenac)

The first movie adapted from one of Thomas Pynchon's novels, Inherent Vice will feature slapstick humor and starring turns from Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Reese Witherspoon—and, apparently, a top-secret cameo by the reclusive Pynchon himself, the New York Times reports. And while it may seem that getting confirmation of the hermitlike Pynchon's surprise appearance is as elusive as the author himself, at least one of the film's co-stars has something to say about it, even if no one else does:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, the movie's director, definitely isn't giving anything up: When interrogated by Logan Hill of the Times about the supposed cameo, he replied: "I’m staying out of it! … Somebody spent a long time deciding not to have themselves out there. There's a reason for that. So I'm just going to step out of that."
  • And a rep for Pynchon's publisher curtly responded: "Mr. Pynchon is not giving any interviews at this time."
  • But Brolin offered a more revealing answer: "I don't think anybody knew [Pynchon was on the set]. … He came on as the kind of mercurial iconoclast he is. He stayed in the corner.”
Assuming Pynchon does actually flash across the screen, that still doesn't answer the astute question posed by Vulture: "If nobody knows what you look like, does it count as a cameo?" Inherent Vice is set for mass release Dec. 12 and debuts Oct. 4 at the New York Film Festival. (Initial reviews in 2009 of Inherent Vice called it Pynchon's most accessible novel to date.)

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