Now that artificial intelligence (A.I.) has taken center stage, it can be hard to separate the real from the fake. But one young actor probably never imagined having to defend his entire existence against rumors that he wasn’t actually a real person.
The actor at the center of it all is Armen Nahapetian, who plays the teen version of Joaquin Phoenix’s character Beau in the new movie Beau Is Afraid.
According to the Daily Dot, skepticism began when the movie poster came out a few months ago, featuring Phoenix, Nahapetian and various other versions of Phoenix’s character at different life stages. Because there were so many similarities between the two actors — and the Photoshopping seemed generous — many fans assumed that the various versions of Beau were produced by A.I. or even C.G.I.
Upon the film’s promotion, its production studio A24 decided to capitalize on the gag. But acknowledging it may have worsened the situation.
On Twitter, the 16-year-old actor is currently referred to as the “Beau is afraid kid” and has found himself amidst a bizarre debate.
Now, many users have rushed to the defense of the actor and are asking commenters to stop creating theories about him.
“You guys can just be normal about the Beau is Afraid kid,” @Thatoneguy64 tweeted.
“It’s gotta be a weird week for this kid,” @kindagewnish said on TikTok. “Imagine going to a bunch of red carpet events for your first big movie and then waking up the next day and finding out everyone thought you were CG the whole time.”
Since the controversy began, Nahapetian has tried to set the record straight himself. His Instagram bio currently reads, “I’m not A.I.,” and in a recent TikTok he posted, he stated right out of the gate, “I’m not C.G.I.”
“Beau is afraid kid is real, heres my room,” Nahapetian added in the video caption.
“This is literally the funniest allegation to have,” wrote one commenter.
“what if joaquin is actually just the cgi adult version of you,” wondered another.
But others, who found the whole thing to be hilarious, jokingly denied the actor’s claims.
“yes you are!” wrote one person. “you can’t fool us.”
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