Coming after his much-talked-about appearance in February 2009, Joaquin Phoenix returned to the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City on Wednesday (September 22).
The unpredictable actor turned up sans scruffy beard as he readied for a promotional chat on the "Late Show with David Letterman" for his new movie "I'm Still Here".
As could be expected, Joaquin and Dave talked about last year's debacle, with Letterman saying, “You know I’ve always liked you. I’ve been to see your movies, I’ve always liked you. I recognize you as a powerful talent – that Johnny Cash thing, you were tremendous in that. And then a year- and-a-half ago, you come out and, honestly, it’s like you slipped and hit your head in the tub. And I knew immediately when you sat down, something ain’t right, because if you’re really the way you appeared to be, you don’t go out. You know what I mean? People don’t let guys like you out if you’re really like that. You don’t go out.”
A short while later, Dave said, “Now let me ask you a couple of questions. You’re retiring to pursue a career in music. To me, that seems – excuse me, I mean, you did sing in the film, but it seems unlikely because you’ve been nominated for two Academy Awards. I, frankly, when I heard about it later, was surprised that anybody had believed it. And then after seeing you here – first of all, really all I care about is me in this. Now, did I know anything about this?”
With Joaquin replying “No,” Letterman then asked, “Yeah. Was there a script that you and I were working with?”
“No,” Phoenix responded. “Thank you very much,” Letterman said, “I was not part of it, was I?”
“Yeah, but, like you said... I mean, I think that you’ve interviewed many, many people and I assumed that you would know the difference between a character and a real person, so – but I apologize. I didn’t – I hope I didn’t offend you in any way…,” Joaquin replied.
“Oh, no – oh, no, no, no, I was not offended. I’m telling you, it was so much fun. It was batting practice, you know what I mean? Every one of them was a dinger,” Dave chimed in.
“Well, we’d hoped to come on a talk show,” Phoenix laughed, “and I was looking for a beat down, and I got one…I want to thank you for that.”