Joaquin Phoenix headed back to 'Letterman'
September 14th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

Joaquin Phoenix headed back to 'Letterman'

In February, 2009, Joaquin Phoenix made an appearance on David Letterman’s “Late Show” that left viewers wondering if he was acting or if he'd indeed completely lost it.

At the time, the actor walked onto the set with a beard obscuring most of his face, sunglasses to conceal the rest of it and no desire to actually be interviewed, it seemed.

Letterman tried to coax something out of the star in hopes to save the interview, but ended it by saying he was sorry Phoenix couldn't be there that night.

Well, according to the New York Times, Phoenix will head back to “Letterman” on September 22 – although which persona he’ll be bringing remains to be seen. Perhaps he’ll explain what exactly is going on with his documentary, “I’m Still Here,” which is currently playing in limited release.

Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. S. S. Armstrong

    Twice now Joaquin Phoenix has appeared on the David Letterman show. Bravo for David to give it another try. But, I seriously believe Joaquin is so screwed up on drugs that he's unable to communicate or participate in the real world. What a horrible waste of time.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. cameron

    I loved this guy!! He's the kind of man I'd love to hug and say thank you for all your talent.
    If he's hurting , that 's okay. That means he is alive. I'm sure that he will recover.
    What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger!
    Cameron L Deezie

    September 17, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. SaintPetersburg

    he's an amazing actor. He had a movie come out last year called "Two Lovers" and he was incredible in it. He nailed the role of a closed down, grown up. I think he's misunderstood. He seems like one of those people that just likes to have fun with his life, but people keep pegging him as this intense, psycophatic artis.

    September 16, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. cat

    Well, the FIRST visit caused such a media frenzy... I guess Letterman is hard up for publicity, he's willing to have the moron back on his show.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. jessicalee

    He has mental health problems and is supposed to take meds. Given that his brother od'd and died from street meds. Maybe he has opted not to take anything prescribed or otherwise and is okay being psychotic and nuts.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • auntiecarol69

      Dear Jessica
      What evidence to you know of that Joaquin Phoenix is mentally ill? Without personally examining somebody it isn't right to diagnose them. If anyone makes a factual statement they should be capable of backing it up. Plus unless you're a physician you can't possibly tell what meds he needs.

      March 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bradbe

    Crispin Glover and Joaquin should have a rap duel on the Late Show.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Paul

    I miss river he probly does too

    September 15, 2010 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. david williams

    All you guys get a life!

    September 15, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Thozzmaniac

    Like I need another excuse not to watch Letterman.

    September 15, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Evol

    To all those who are passing judgment and criticizing JP for doing what he want to do with His life! You all need to get a life and mind y'all own Biz. Bearded, drugged out, needing a shower or whatever else, he is an amazing actor who has done some serious real acting! He is cool individual and I assume a decent human being who is different from those you want to think they got it all together! He has the courage to do what he desire and is afraid or concerned about what john public thinks. Let the brother be who and what he wants to be! My prayers is that his family stick by him and help see him through whatever he his dealing with! Much Love JP, get back to work soon!

    September 15, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. M.R.

    What a shame! A good actor who needs rehab.If this is a publicity campaign it isnt working. HE LOOKS BAD.

    September 15, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. craig

    Great actor, but I can't help wondering if he's constantly on drugs. He seemed to slur his words when acting in Walk the Line. Perhaps he's shy or has adhd...

    September 15, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Arglebargle

    YAWN! Joachin Phoenix turns over a new at 11.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. L.K.

    Some of the stuff written here! You act like JP is reading your words. Guess what? He doesn't care what anyone thinks about what he is doing or who he has become. Go get on with your life!

    September 15, 2010 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Russell crowe

    I sure enjoyed killing him in Gladiator. He plays the guy you would love to kill extremely well.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
    • cameron

      Loved you in your movie....A Beautiful Mind!!!

      Your eyes!!!
      kiss kiss

      September 17, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  16. Jay leno

    Of course he didn't want to be interviewed. No guest wants to be badgered after being on my show.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  17. Mike

    Maybe he just needs another azz kickin' from Russell Crow...

    September 15, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  18. Quentin

    Joaquin is a cool and bad ass mf! He was awesome in "we own the nights".

    So, what if he has a drug problem and doesn't really want to put on an act or front an image.

    Maybe he just wants to zone out and say f! uck showbiz for a while.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  19. charles

    Let him just do his best 2 apeare in d script b4 hollywood will do somthing funy.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  20. bryan

    Look doesn't really matter what the deal is with him. His life not yours, his choices not yours,he's a talented actor and needs to get in touch with what's important to him and is family only and not pander to the wants of the non important distractions critics, fans and fanatics good or bad he needs "us" the unimportant distractions to allow his life to be his

    September 15, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  21. CHaoZZ

    They could care less if he says one word or not..This is going to be HUGE ratings, thats they only reason they want him on.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  22. Paul D

    I hope he brings gum again.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  23. livirie

    who are you joac? who the f.... are u...are u?? are u??

    September 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  24. april

    I think he was trying to pull an andy kaufman.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Team CoCo!!

    This isn't about mere tv; the daily slime. This is about David "there's no off position to the genious switch" Letterman. Comedy legend DL is the only reason I still own a tv.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  26. elyhim

    You folks still watch TV? Wow

    September 14, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  27. john coktoastin

    bum look is always a good look. leave the poor guy alone for chrissake. he's had a tough run of it.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Mariana

    Who Cares?? Seriously, we are talking about Joaquin Phoenix.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  29. jason

    When joaquin prepares for a role he completely loses himself in it. He literally tries to believe he is that person, so whatever he's trying to do now shouldn't be too shocking. I'm sure there's something planned.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Frank

    I think he's still angry that he didn't win the Oscar for Walk The Line. I'd be p!ssed, too. I wonder why Johnny Depp hasn't done something like this. I hope he gets himself back together, for his own sake.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  31. KatieNoL

    I never met a movie he made that I did not like. I hope he is doing well and living life to the fullest, drug and booze free. I would hate to see him end up like his brother, dead on a sidewalk convulsing. That is the evil of drugs. I have been preaching this to my kids since the day they were born. Drugs = destruction. Got that?

    September 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Rachel

    He is very talented, but his wierd theatrics take up way too much space the media. I'm really put off by the games he plays.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  33. rickd34

    I hope he's still a mess. The more strungout the better.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |

    Lmao @you fools that are mad @him for doing what he wants and not living life the way you want him to. Just let him do his thing lol

    September 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  35. shelly

    My money is on the act can't wait for letterman. Anyway we all can't help but watch as it unfolds. Phoenix has been amazing he is after all only a man. 🙂

    September 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Fred

    "That Cocaine is a hell of a drug"...Rick James

    September 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  37. roqstar

    petra you really need to ge back on something im depressed now

    September 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  38. ted

    It is all an act and we all fell for it.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Stephanie Mitchell

    Sometimes talent can be right in front of you and one may never no what the person next to them is capable of. Many times these talents can be overpowered by the person you were or the person you have become and makes you unrecognizable to you friends and to your fans. No matter if you are a celebrity or a common everyday person, each action reflects on the person who you are good, bad or ugly. I think that Joaquin is a very talented man and a lost soul but some day he will wake up and have to or want to change. I did that one day and kicked the partying and the drugs, it was the day I found out I was pregnant and I made the consience decision of not going back to that life. Hopefully he will do the same and all of the things that he has experienced during this part of his life will make him a better person and actor.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  40. roqstar

    wo really screwed up joaquin last name phoenix there it is . Just go crazy with hate after i hear about beiber thats my kryptonite.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  41. roqstar

    i think everyone needs to shut up about kaufman and beiber. can we go a day without that name! Phoniex is cool no matter what

    September 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Cambob

    River Phoenix has done a way way better job of acting these last few years.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jester of the Apocalypse

    Suckers! It's all an act, and there better be a good reveal, because otherwise it's a pretty lame gag.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  44. joe bagga'donuts

    If it's an act or not eitherf way he's a fool...and Andy Kaufman was an ass...he didn't know when to be himself.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  45. SKY


    September 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Jack

    What drug is he on??? I think we should put children to bed when he is on. lettermanout of his mind?
    We don't have other guest that we need him back on.....

    September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Just Sayin'

    Think he'll be "MERCIFUL!!"?

    September 14, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Matt

    Its all a ploy

    September 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Duncan C

    His bro was River Phoenix. Movie(s) "Stand by Me" et al. Do a little research. A facinating, yet oddly disturbing metamorphisis.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Theresa

    Its pretty easy for us to sit here and judge. None of us has any idea what's going on in the mans personal life! Nobody is perfect, and celebrities are not the only people who have struggled with drugs or alcohol. He's only human after all...just the same as us!

    September 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  51. gee

    who was his brother??

    September 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Duncan C

    He was raised in a cult. It's all there in Wikipedia. His parents were waaay out there. It appears he has just returned to the mean.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  53. charity

    I like him I hope he get it together.....

    September 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  54. kevin bacon

    did you mean butt hurt? or are they just a buttery mess? i hope he does something interesting and either way it should be.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Josie


    September 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Valerie

    You people are all idiots, or not old enough to REALLY remember Andy Kaufman....seriously.............anyone that is taking this seriously is a total fool!

    September 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howie2g

      Shut up loser. Is Andy Kaufman your dad or something? Dont get so buttered!

      September 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petra

      I'm fairly young, but I know Andy Kaufman. I believe Joaquin is taking a similar route, so I find this whole situation amusing. 😉

      September 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  57. moons

    As long as he sobers up, is off drugs, shaves, showers, takes off the shades, puts on a crisp suit and shows up with a smile and a story... He will be fine. I have $100 that says this won't happen.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  58. The_Dude

    I like the new Joaquin better anyways. He is more interesting.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Tivoli

    He's an amazeing actor w/ alot of talent. No-one's perfect and I think the best of us have some "weirdness". So he's had some bizarre moments/ behavior-alot of people do. His life has been very public, and filled w/ fame, constant differing attention, and painful loss. He'll get back to what was his near norm.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Rob Johnson

    Correction, Sam–Joaquin WAS a genuine talent. I think those days are gone forever, over a long time ago, as Steely Dan would say.

    Anyone who thinks this is some elaborate Andy Kaufman-type put-on are giving Phoenix more credit than he deserves.

    As Freud famously said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. If he looks, acts, and talks like a burned out drug casualty, Occam's Razor indicates that is exactly what he is.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  61. samb

    Gotta agree with the first comment...joaquin is a genuine talent in relation to pure marketing ventures like the roundly nauseating justin bieber. *Puke in my mouth*

    September 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  62. JMC

    This guy has me totally confused. How he can turn out such wonderful performances in movies and then be so bizarre in real life is beyond me. Is this the real Joaquin? Or was he so damaged by his brother's death? Or is he spaced out on drugs? Or is this all a big act? Will the real Joaquin please stand up? Want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but man, you're making it difficult 🙁

    September 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  63. citizenUSA

    Guess Letterman needs a laugh or two. From what I've read he's still the same way.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Jay

    personally, I think Adam Carolla is right

    September 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Kevin brown

    Wow... Wait who's Joaquin?

    September 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Rocky Mountain Flowers

    I hope it was all a gag, if it was how hilarious, if he seriously lost himself..well that is sad, because I really like the guy.
    I do wish he would keep acting, I like his work.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  67. tony

    that appearance was epic! One of Letterman's greatest moments in show history! Ratings will be huge!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  68. james

    I like the weird works for me, very entertaining.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Drew

    I hope he shows up like a bum. People keep saying he is "acting", bs. Let the guy express himself. Just because you're good looking, good actor doesn't mean you need to live life like a hollywood tool. He's just acting like a normal person with issues, as opposed to most in hollywood who work to build up a huge false image to market.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  70. samuels

    Let's hope he shows up back as his old self and this whole nightmare year was just some type of performance art piece.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  71. parishater

    wow hope he does better this time..he is a great looking guy who can really act i hope he gets it together soon or hollywood will give us another pretty face that cant act and has no talent at justin beiber

    September 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      Justin beiber isn't an actor hes a singer. Im not a fan but im sure you couldn't do any better if you tried! how can you say they have no talent?

      September 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howie2g

      Uh...although it doesn't really matter Justin Beiber has acted on television shows, lastly CSI, and his singing is no better than is acting... horrible. But I'm not a teenage girl, so he does still have a fan base.

      Oh yeah. Phoenix is nuts and I hope he goes as full beard and all for a good laugh.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • nathalie

      No matter how many stunts he pulls he'll never be as good as his brother (R.I.P)

      September 14, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • rueful antagonist

      Say what you want about Phoenix, but he was great in Gladiator. I would cast him as that rueful antagonist all the time.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      He's a great actor but I'd prefer he start acting sometime soon in movies I'm actually interested in seeing and not "i'm still here". Otherwise, my interest in him and his movies will diminish more than they already had.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Wonka

      Joaquin is that you?

      September 15, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |

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