Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard

PPNY / GSNY / Splash News

Joaquin Phoenix is back to his old self!

After taking three years off from Hollywood to supposedly pursue a rap career—a hiatus that turned out to be an elaborate Andy Kaufman-style stunt for Casey Affleck's mockumentary, I'm Still Here—the Walk the Line star was spotted back on a movie set. And it's worth noting, without the wild beard he was sporting for his hip-hop alter ego.

So what was Joaquin up to?

MORE: Surprise, David Letterman! Joaquin Phoenix's Meltdown Was a Crock

Phoenix was on location in New York City last Friday shooting scenes for director James Gray's untitled new drama with Oscar winner Marion Cotillard.

Little is known about the story, but the flick is supposedly a period piece following an innocent Polish immigrant (Cotillard) who's tricked by a charismatic stranger (Phoenix) into a brutal life in the burlesque and vaudeville circuit only to be saved by a magician (Jeremy Renner) who tries to reunite her with her sister being held on Ellis Island.

Oddly enough, the last movie the 37-year-old actor starred in before his "retirement" from the big screen was Gray's little-seen Two Lovers with Gwyneth Paltrow, the publicity for which was overshadowed by Phoenix's antics.

Guess Joaquin owed him one.

This isn't the only film Phoenix has in the pipeline. The actor also recently wrapped The Master, the top-secret drama riffing on the secretive world of Scientology from There Will Be Blood helmer Paul Thomas Anderson.

PICS: Snapped on Set: Movies

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