Actor Joaquin Phoenix was amazed when he met the late Johnny Cash, as the country rocker greeted him by reciting the movie hunk's lines from 2000 film Gladiator.

Phoenix, who plays Cash in the biopic Walk the Line, was particularly disturbed when he realised the Cash's impromptu acting surpassed his own in the historical blockbuster.

He says, "He gave a better performance than I did. He relished every word."