Phoenix Honed Music Skills to Play Cash

Tuesday, October 18th 2005, 5:32 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Joaquin Phoenix had his work cut out for him before playing the late Johnny Cash on screen in ``Walk the Line.''

Phoenix, who had no musical background, ``was pretty horrible when he started,'' said Dan John Miller, leader of the indie band Blanche, who plays Cash's lead guitarist.

The actor spent months rehearsing by himself. He even wrote his own songs to ``see what it felt like to make something from nothing,'' Phoenix told Time magazine.

``He came around the corner for this concert scene and he just had the swagger and confidence,'' Miller told Time. ``He was Johnny Cash _ badass. For an amateur like me, it was suddenly clear what real acting is.''