Joaquin Phoenix apologizes to Letterman
September 23rd, 2010
08:59 AM ET

Joaquin Phoenix apologizes to Letterman

Now that the ruse is up and the truth has been set free that Joaquin Phoenix was simply acting crazily for the not-actually-a-documentary, “I’m Still Here,” the 35-year-old star sat down with David Letterman on “Late Show” Wednesday night to apologize for any ill will he may have caused.

Except it looks like Letterman didn’t really have any – although the late-night host did say he wasn’t in on Phoenix’s act when he sat down for an interview that’s now in the annals of pop culture history.

“You know, I’ve always liked you,” Letterman told a clean-shaven Phoenix. “I recognized you as a powerful talent…And then a year and a half ago you come out, and honestly it was like you slipped and hit your head in the tub.”

Letterman told Phoenix he could tell from the moment the actor took a seat that something was amiss, because “if you were really the way you appeared to be, you don’t go out. People don’t let guys like you out if you’re really like that.”

Phoenix replied with an explanation that his brother-in-law and director of the film, Casey Affleck, has offered as well: They just figured people would get it.

“Like you said, you’ve interviewed many, many people, and I assumed you would know the difference between a character and a real person,” Phoenix said. “But I apologize, I hope I didn’t offend you in anyway.”

Letterman responded with a hearty “No, not at all,” and said he considered the act to be fun, like “batting practice.”

All seemed to be well and good between the two men, until Letterman pointed out that they’d used almost five minutes of that infamous interview in “I’m Still Here,” which Letterman said he didn't receive a licensing fee for. If it was an actual documentary, it could qualify under fair use, Letterman explained, but since we all now know that it’s not….Letterman wants a piece of the cut. "$1 million bucks," to be exact.

"All of that promotion you got from being on here that night...all of that's worth something, that's free publicity," Letterman told Phoenix. "So we want a little something for that. And my talent fee, you know, it's not my first rodeo. I want a little taste of this as well."

Phoenix eventually responded, "We'll work it out," but requested, “Can we talk about it privately, please?”

Letterman, ever agreeable, told him, “Yeah. We’ll go to one of your screenings.”

Filed under: Celebrities • Late Night comedy • television

soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. JoelsBlog


    June 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Celicai Banaless

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    July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. auntiecarol69

    I wonder how many motion picture executives wish Joaquin Phoenix would go on psychotropics so that he wouldn't pull any more of these stunts. I'm not saying or thinking "I'm Still Here" was wrong . I'm just trying to see it from the perspectiv of Hollywood producers, executives where the bottom line is money.

    January 9, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jaime

    @Dale – Disney just called. You're infringing on Chip 'n Dale. In a language you might understand, "Cease 'n Desist, kk thx bai!"
    As for Letterman, who is a master at making guests squirm (McCain?) and finding funny where others might only find frustration, I think he knows that it was indeed great television and he benefitted greatly from that nightmare of an interview. He isn't naive enough to not understand that. But always one to press the advantage when there is one, he pressed on for more taking on the part of the slighted TV Host. It is savvy, but not really necessary, so I doubt there will be any legal follow through on that. If Letterman pushes it, to me, that's more of a sign of a bruised ego than honest injury.

    September 24, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Alex Peter

    There was no need to apologize. It was all a very good television, I wish other attempted landing something like that, it would be very funny and entertaining, sometimes not that much successful but points for trying. Now, it looks as if it is not acceptable and the television is going to become all more boring.

    September 24, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tee Hee

    @Michelle, it is (come accross) dear, NOT Come Accrossed. That really does sound funny. I think Cassey and JP are aware of royalty issues and Dave has gotten his cut a long time ago. It is a hoax and I think Dave has always been 'in' on it. Love the word, "Giggleweed!" Hahahahaha!

    September 24, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michelle

    I think it's very sad that any of you have hinted, or outright said, that Joaquin Phoenix should "jump off a bridge" or that the "wrong Phoenix died". Shame on you. How would you feel if someone said this about you, your brother, or your child? You may be annoyed at the entire stunt, but there is no need to be cruel to someone you have never met. It's sad that no one ever taught you the Golden Rule or how to keep quiet when all you had to say were negative things.
    I would also like to thank the grammar and spelling buffs on here for attempting to help people with their errors; it's hard to take people seriously when they come acrossed as barely literate. However, the people doing the correction could also use a little tact and be less condescending.
    Everyone just needs to smile, take a deep breath, and remember how to say something nice – make someone's day instead of ruining it for a change!

    September 23, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ndiezel

    @joe, nobody likes a grammar fascist on an internet board. That stuff is so pre-text era 2000. Go grade a term paper to get your academic jollies and quit trying to dissect the finer points of one's frantic rantings and quipped, half-baked bloggings.

    September 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Yugo

    I am glad this was an act, I was worried about him. I think he is a great actor, He was unbelievable in Gladiator and if there was any doubt about the depth of this man and his talent, his portrayal of Johnnie Cash was completely off the chain.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kris Wood

    Successful troll was successful.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOOM

    The wrong Phoenix died.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. meadowmuffin

    I want money too.. Oh and if you snort flour up your nose it makes you throw up.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sw_wa_native

    I'm not buying it Dave, you obviously were clued into this whole scheme. You're a horrible actor, by the way.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. uh huh

    Tell Casey thanks for leaving us sitting in a small Oklahoma town for months, waiting for him to show up to do the movie.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jane

    Man some of you people are so mean and judgmental! How can you call anyone "weird", or "stupid"? You don't even really know these people? That is just wrong! I'm glad Joaquin is who he is, and I'm sure your nasty comments don't bother him a bit. As far as pot goes–get a clue and grow up! Does no damage, only good...I happen to know that for a fact as I have had a complete MRI and after years and years absolutely NO, NO, NO ill effects!! Thank God for pot, it has literally saved my life. Say what you may, most of us know you are full of baloney!!! GO JOAQUIN. And Letterman has a boatload of money already-why in the world does he need more?

    September 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Danny B

    This leaves Billy Bob Thornton as the "UNCONTESTED CHAMPION OF THE WORLD" of Celebrity idiotic bizzare interviews for his CBC interview. At least Phoenix was acting – Billy Bob is just an idiot.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Dale

    @Peter Griffin

    Speaking of intelligence, how intelligent is it to use a name that has a copyright in a forum while calling someone else out on their errors? Oops ! Hope you don't get into trouble for that one !

    September 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. maximusvad

    Yeah I like Comedus... I thought he went full retard...and there is no coming back from that.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kat

    What a relief to see him as we all know him (and he definitely cleans up well). For the record, and without the word of a lie, I just knew it was an act from the very beginning. Yeah, Joaquin, I did "get it"...many didn't but don't fault them for that. It was a brilliant charade.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  20. sbp

    The "acting in situations where you are expected to be yourself and not acting" as performance art schtick is not new. But it has always been lame, tiresome, and pretentious. Casey and Joaquin think they are a lot deeper than they are.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Kimm

    Who is he again? And apologized on who's show? David Linkletter?

    September 23, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  22. BT

    lol opinions suck. No matter what the topic, there are always internet trolls to trash the subject. Damn there is a lot of disgust and hatred on Earth.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • zbtrocker

      So true. It's really sad. Everyone is a giant when they're in front of a monitor.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Fenarkleman

    Enough of "Dancing With the Stars!" I want a REAL reality show, like "Paying Your Credit Card Bills...With the Stars!"

    September 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mark Moza

    If you watch Letterman regularly, you can discern by certain mannerisms on his part, when he is being jovial vs annoyed vs irritated with a guest. Yesterday, he was clearly VERY annoyed with Jaquin. His questioning was very intense and rapidfire, often interrupting. Despite his toothy grin and his claim of being offended, he was. And it really came to light near the end when he said "let's cut to the chase, I want money." It was funny, but he was also sending a clear message to Jaquin and Casey, that he didn't appreciate being snookered for personal gain, and there could be consequences.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Steven Nass

    The interview, in a nutshell:

    Wha? Keen!

    Fee? Nix!

    September 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  26. stu

    haha, I guess I'd have to care about this guy in the first place to be glad he's back.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Anniebananie

    Ha ha ha....

    It was a joke....a joke that "toothy" Letterman was in on.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Joe

    You misspelled "any way" as "anyway," two entirely different phrases with entirely different meanings. While non-writers may think this trivial, it's not trivial for a professional to do his job incorrectly. You might want to look up other common, similar errors while you're at it (may be vs. maybe; all right vs. alright, every day vs. everyday, etc.).

    September 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Scott

    While it is intensely amusing to see people blow this thing out of all proportion, I for one am grateful that it was a hoax. JP is a fine (and refined) talent and he has brought unforgettable characters to the screen. I appreciate his contributions and hope to see more soon. The funniest stuff on this post are the comments that address "reality" and what is "normal"! Both are things to taste once in a while, but I wouldn't want to make them a habit. It's easy to describe a person's behavior as a little strange but what do you really want them to be?

    September 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Krista

    I am sooo glad crazy Joaquin was just an act! He is one of my favorite actors and I'm so glad to see he's normal again! Or, as normal as actors in Hollywood get 😉 Although, I dont know why Kasey Affleck even bothered doing this movie. Im sure Ill see it, but just seems kind of pointless.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  31. JayJay

    Glad to see that he's back – Hoax or not......Anybody think this hoax is a hoax?

    September 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Don

    Just another goofy reason to seriously re-consider legalizing marijuana!

    September 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Chris

    Letterman should be the one paying Joaquin...that was the only interesting show he's had in the last 5 years.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |


    September 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  35. jaycee

    I really like Joaquin, he is an amazing actor. On the other hand, David Letterman is an idiot.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  36. cavemanstyle

    To be honest, I miss the Conan O'Brien show above all. Bring him back and put him on the prime time spot. I don't know why the network pulled that stunt on him anyways. Must of been $ oriented, once again, as it usually is. That's too bad too because I stopped watching late night shows altogether when his show stopped.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  37. stephen milbury

    Joaquin Phoenix took something that Andy kaufman from the old Taxi series did brillantly and totally bombed. The other differance was that Andy ended up dead after his crazy rant with professional fighting. What's next, what's next? Joaquin on dancing with the stars or the Biggest Loser? What a jerk!

    September 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Attrib

    Sounds like Phoenix's performance was paying tribute to "the original", Andy Kaufman... that guy knew performance art!

    September 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  39. curtis martin

    Well, this most recent exchange between Phoenix and Letterman is just as phony as the first one! One of Letterman's people revealed months ago that Letterman was in on the hoax from the get go. He knew Phoenix was faking a character for a movie all the time! So for them both to now pretend that he didn't know is just another (minor) hoax!

    September 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Paul

    Leno and letterman should both retire for good we need funny back on late night

    September 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Lucy

    "They figured people would get it." Pretty lame explanation. If they thought people would get it then what would be the point of doing it?

    September 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  42. moreconstantine

    How do we know which Joaquin was an act? 'Red Carpet/Black Tie celebrities' have always felt like a performance to me.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  43. tom

    wow, I didn't think it was possible, but I care less about this guy than I did before.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  44. Rye

    Carol Clarke...really? Letterman is trustworthy? mmm...I beg to differ. And what exactly is "the real world"? Are you sure that Letterman lives in this real world of yours? To each his own. The actor world is large enough to claim it's own. Therefor Joaguin, IS living in a real world.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  45. mary

    He was either out of it and now regrets it because it turned out a bad move, or he made a bad move in acting that way and now wants to turn it around..
    All the same.. He acted odd..
    I saw another actor years ago go onto Joey Bishop or Carson and sit like that and act like that..It was just as odd then, and it seemed to blow his career..It was years before he really was in anything again.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  46. YaMann

    Hey JP, I Don't care! a non ego reality awaits you.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  47. Chris Mangrum

    He shold grow back the beard.....

    September 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  48. Rye

    You guys are all sooooo dramatic! I'm completely worn out after all that! Like it or not, he did it! People like everything YOU do? High or not, he did it! What's it to you? How many stars end up in rehab? It's nothin new! @ Tom-NOBODY is going to see a movie because Letterman is in it! And why are some of you crying out that he "made a fool" out of you? Really? Is that your bff? Or your brother? And he totally deceived you and embarrassed you and ruined your life? My goodness, get over it! A waste of our time? It was sheer entertainment! Isn't that what we look to Hollywood for? And so what if Kaufman did it first! That was forever ago! I think he deserves some credit for updating such a hoax! I'm not exactly a JP fan, but he did catch my attention with this. And i might actually get around to seeing the movie...and no, not because Letterman is in it!

    September 23, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  49. lostinnc

    Loved the line about privacy at a screening.
    I liked Joaquin in his previous films, but I do wonder about his stability. I know it won't hurt his feelins, but he has lost a fan,

    September 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  50. Mary Clancy

    I LOVE Joaquin Phoenix and am so glad it was all an act (kind of thought so but not sure). I really want to see the movie now. If it was really this brilliant actor's descent into crazyness I didn't want to, but it was all performance art and will be fun now. Letterman was much more amused than the article shows. I bet his ratings were way high last night. This was all Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix daring to do something completely different - too bad so many people don't get it and don't appreciate it. Letterman got it and clearly appreciated it. Great work guys!

    September 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  51. Laura

    How is it that the majority of you people don't understand that Letterman asking for money was A JOKE. A funny. Ha-ha-ha. It's a shame that the fine art of sarcasm is lost on so many people.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Carole Clarke

      While Letterman asking to be paid for his talent was probably sarcastic at the moment, you can be sure that fine mind of his had put the actor in the debit column at the same time. Even if he never collects a penny, it will teach people who come on his show that he controls what is done on his show, not them. He loves to help performers hype their new shows or acts, even new books or causes but he gets to vett them first. He is responsible for that show and all the people it employs – he cannot afford to lose his credibility or be made to leak weak or foolish. He hurt himself with his philandering on his wife but he fixed that by being upfront and honest about it and it went away without too much damage. You don't take the reins out of his hands – that's a mortal insult in that business and Phoenix knows that. The actor now risks getting quietly blacklisted as payback for his stupidity. There are too many $$$$ at stake.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  52. the_dude

    I liked crazy joaquin better.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  53. Carole Clarke

    Trust the always professional Letterman to remind the actor of how the real world works. You get to use what you pay for boobyhatch!

    September 23, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  54. wolverineturbo

    Gladiator. Genius.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  55. Fireoasis

    I am pretty shocked by some of the posts here,"go jump off a bridge". Comments like this simply because you don't like an actor, isn't that a bit harsh? If you like him as an actor or not, I don't believe he has done anything so horrific as to warrant such aggression by so many of you. I am not particular fond of John Wayne, but I never wished the man harm. It is a matter of opinion and even at that a matter of opinion on what each of us consider entertainment. If you didn't find his performance on letterman to be entertaining, turn the channel. The selfish behavior of "If I don't like then it needs to go away" is such a sad thing to see in our society. We will never agree 100% on anything, but disagreeing should lead to hate like this.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  56. tomcat

    b.s. he went over an edge and now hes doing what agent says he must to get a job. fact is he was no good at music.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  57. Diane

    I liked that you used and spelled the word "hearty" correctly in your article. Kudos

    September 23, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  58. blobert

    I could totally tell it was an act. I was high, too.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  59. cashew mirman

    how stupd is he? jawquin phenix is an moron and people should stop following this garbege

    September 23, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  60. Jordan

    Wait. Isn't Letterman already rich? What would 1 milliion dollars mean to him? If its a joke that's one thing, but its not really that big a deal to someone who has as much money as Letterman does.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  61. rodgerdodger

    However, he did play a good role as an effeminant gladiator once, I guess.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  62. rodgerdodger

    I thought this bozo wasn't going to make movies anymore? He won't be missed especially after this next flop gets released. Bahbye

    September 23, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  63. dj

    And I dont think its about the money with letterman.casey affleck and joaquin have been around,they know better,its respect,the letterman show stunt is a cornerstone of the marketing of this thing.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  64. Mark

    Good for you Dave...hope you get $2M for this stunt. They no kidding used your platform as a marketing strat for their personal initiatives...FOR FREE!!! I can smell the ink of this lawsuit from here!!!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  65. Pistol

    Yeah.....great acting. He sure looked high on Letterman though.
    Don't know if I should love him or hate him at this point. Sure, it was brilliant acting but also he made fools of us and kind of wasted everybody's time. Now it's like, can you ever believe what anybody in Hollywood says?
    But, still happy it was a hoax and not the real Joaquin

    September 23, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  66. coder2

    A wannabe Andy Kaufman

    September 23, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  67. Tom

    I actually hope Letterman was serious. That was so unprofessional of Phoenix. What the hell was he thinking. If he actually used Letterman's footage without paying Dave's company I hope they sue the pants off this clown. Its one thing to go on the show and act like that but another to show the Letterman clip IN THE MOVIE. The could have shown backstage footage, but no clearly they wanted to use Letterman's name and appeal to Letterman fans. Congrats Dave you had a huge scene but no paycheck NICE. If I was in charge of Letterman's production company I'd sue them and donate the proceeds to charity.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      ...which leads logical people to believe the ENTIRE thing is a set-up. If Letterman or his company's lawyers thought they had a case (or any money to chase after) why would they invite JP back and "threaten" him?

      September 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Help Hear

    Hey Guys, will you visit SaveStan.ORG a friend of mine with 4 babies is fighting for his life..... Thanks

    September 23, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      We're not going to give you any money. Go get a job if you need cash this badly, and stop asking strangers for money.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  69. dj

    Digi,this has most def been done before.andy kaufman and jerry lawler were pulling that stunt thirty years ago,and they did it least the coffee throw and slap that came after were pretty realistic.that being said,he is a decent actor,but needs to become more comfortable in his own skin.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  70. Pffffft

    BTW Dave, I haven't seen your show or followed a story about you, beyond the blackmail thing, until Joaquin did this. I think you owe him some bucks for making you a little bit relevant for a short period of time. I guess you'll do another list of 10 things or something with meat and pets again tonight???

    September 23, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • True Blue

      Whatever Dave does tonight, he's certain to A) be funnier, and B) make more money, and C) be more relevant than Pffffft.


      September 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  71. EGH129

    He was just trying something different. Maybe bored with the usual Hollywood crap. He has new found respect from me.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • czydav

      I agree, what bothers me after reading all this crap is the mentality, or lack thereof represented in these replies. Get a life folks, there is a real world out there you could be involved in.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  72. Pffffft

    So, tell me Dave, what IS the going Talent Fee rate for someone that has done the same tired crapola over and over again?? 6 or 7 bucks.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  73. sarah michele

    Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor and I am glad he's back. He's not that crazy, he was acting people. He is talented and many of us are glad be back in the game. I look forward to any upcoming movies.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  74. cavemanstyle

    Ah I take the evil remarks back, you can't believe everything you hear anyways.. It was most likely all planned out, as it usually is.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  75. cavemanstyle

    I've always asked myself, how much money is enough for some people? .. If Letterman wasn't a greedy man, which you can obviously see he is, then he wouldn't of asked for any money at all and laughed it off, and said "That's was a pretty interesting thing you did", but he asked for money, what a crackhead.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • arthurr

      yes- ithought that was odd too- i mean, Letterman is one of the richest men in the world.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  76. saloisboy

    Joaquin Phoenix is horrible. He's just another actor who whispers every line to hide the fact that he can't act. whoever was the casting director for the johnny cash movie should be fired.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Gretchen

      Johnny Cash himself hand picked Joaquin for the role. If Joaquin was good enough for The Man in Black, he's good enough for me!

      September 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anniebananie

      Uh, saloisboy??? Have you even seen this guy act??? Gladiator, Walk the Line????

      Apparently, you haven't.

      Sad very sad.

      I agree with the gal, if Joaquin is good enough for the Man in Black, he is good enough for me....

      September 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Be Quiet

      He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for that role. Deservedly so. He was fantastic. Watch it again.

      September 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whyaskwhy?

      I enjoyed him in Walk the Line and Gladiator, but I don't buy that this was a stunt; however, I truthfully could not care less.
      It's his life, if he wants to waste his time, make a fool of himself, etc.... Go for it!

      September 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  77. pierpont

    Dave – what an idiot.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  78. vince

    Do not be fooled people, Letterman knew about this act. I really hope people are not as naive to believe this bologna.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  79. Valerie

    While I never bought the fact he went nuts, I am still amused by the picture of Joaquin holding up his clenched fists for the camera, and on them he has written "Good" "Bye" out of order on his knuckles, and it reads "Bye" "Good"....LOL!!!!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      That's funny you noticed that Valerie!! I noticed it too!! Bye-Good...DUHHH!!! 😉

      September 24, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  80. Michelle M

    Nobody thought it grossly unseemly that David Letterman would demand a cut of the pie? The man makes ENOUGH money....he wan'ts to capitalize on someone elses genius? I find that grossly materialistic. He should be ashamed...he has a contract worth millions and a nightly gig, but wants a piece of the money from the work that took someone two years to produce. GIVE ME A BREAK.
    THAT'S what I got out of this interview. One man's over inflated Ego and GREED, and it wasn't the STAR of the interview that was displaying it!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      It was a JOKE, dummy. Lettermen wasn't serious about getting money from it. Jeez, get a sense of humor.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Kleppie the Hypochondriac Clown

      Agree. I hope HE was joking. If not, I'm no longer a fan.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Obviously you didn't catch Dave's sarcasm regarding wanting a cut of the money. The movie has made $260,000. It was a jab at the poor performance of the mockumentary.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I'll admit- I couldn't tell either if Dave was being sel-serious or not. It came off as Dave making a serious point but in the form of a joke. I'm glad to hear people think he was joking, I hope he was.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  81. T'laryth Phalyn

    I can't help but laugh. When this whole thing came out it all made sense. Joaquin is a fantasic actor with a sense of dedication assumed long dead in the current generation of actors. He had fun, made money for himself and others all while doing what amounts to his job. Not many of us can say that. Good for him. Though I'm thrilled to see him back to being, more or less, himself. He's still a favorite bit of eye candy.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  82. Carol

    Good one Jauquin! Had me fooled and very sad to see a yong man go "off the rails". Personally thought Casey Affleck was a jerk to film the destruction of a young man instead of trying to get him help. Good one guys. Will go down as one of the best hoaxes ever!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  83. Peter

    if you think he was acting, you're wrong. JP was high out of his mind on herb and super paranoid. couldn't answer a question. I thought it was funny.... but, all he did was blaze and show up to the interview looking like the Unabomber. that's not acting.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  84. Marcella

    I think its comical what Joaquin did, I would imagine that since his been acting since he was a child, his bored with show biz. It gives me one more reason to love him -his great immagination as a human as well as shows what a brilliant actor he is. People can say this or that about him but to be honest his a amazing actor, as well as a human being. So give him some credit especially with the life he has had, not to say it been bad but different. Im so glad I can see his beautiful face again, without that beard! Lol...

    September 23, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  85. Peter

    dude was high as can be on herb.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  86. jason w

    I liked it better when andy kaufman pulled a similar stunt.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  87. Hudge Fudge

    Yea, we're yet to find out whether this was really a hoax. Just because he says it, doesn't mean it was so.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Stevef

      I agree Fudge. I think last night was damage repair. He still spoke like a person high on something.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I believe that he got carried away with his success singing on the Johnny Cash film and thought he could make money at hip hop and when people made fun of him and some people questioned whether it was a hoax, he decided to go along with that.
      On the first Letterman appearance, he truly seemed embarrassed and I don't believe he was acting.

      September 28, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  88. Joe

    Hey, at least the guy tried something out of the norm and got people talking. I, for one, think he's awesome.

    What would you rather see from a famous actor? Some typical A-list actor doing a romantic comedy, then a superhero movie, then a romantic comedy, then presents at the Golden Globes, then goes on every talk show....Zzzzz....

    Misfire or not, he gave something wild and unique a try. Joaquin Phoenix is a brilliant actor and I'll definitely be watching whatever he's in next.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  89. Spiff

    “Yeah. We’ll go to one of your screenings.”


    Damn, Dave's still got it after all these years!

    September 23, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  90. rj

    well he def had most of the general population fooled, thinking a wonderful person and great actor had gone off the deep end. well kept secret by the people who were in on it. i just hope letterman is kidding about the money. that would be kinda sad.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      They used Letterman in a for-profit movie. Why shouldn't he be paid for the use of his image and reputation? People are usually paid to be in a movie.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  91. MichieMich

    Good one on Dave, about meeting 'privately' at one of the screenings! Funny and ascerbic.

    As for Phoenix- You can shave and apologize all you want, you're still a weirdo.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  92. John_Patriot

    Ole JP...

    September 23, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  93. markus

    so it was all a sham...for a "mockumentary".

    I'm assuming that's mock cocaine he does multiple times in the film, as well?

    September 23, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • scott

      do you think every actor in every drug movie is actually doing cocaine? moron.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  94. james vond

    It's awesome. he was actiing in real life and most of you bought it hook line and sinker. U MAD BRO?

    September 23, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  95. NAI0U1

    Who really cares?

    September 23, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  96. Olivia

    Word to Joaquin Phoenix: Go sit down and shut up. No one cares, and you're making an a** of yourself. Maybe try making a real movie now and then, ya think? Otherwise take your overstuffed ego and your bag of giggleweed and go jump off a bridge.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Digi

      I happen to think he has had many great movies. This was something that has never been done before and he nailed it. As an actor I would think that would be a great thing. Your just mad your one of the people that he spoofed. Please do everyone a favor and follow your own advice. Jump off a bridge.

      September 23, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • countdemonay

      Oh Olivia, you are a wise and wonderful sage! You expressed your thoughts so perfectly.... AND I AGREE!!!!

      September 23, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Manonthemoon

      It HAS been done before – Andy Kaufman is a good example of this type of character acting. It was still a bit of good fun, it hurt no one.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Laurie


      I did like the movie "Walk the Line"...But then Joaquin got weird after that...I think it DEFINITELY has to do with the guy's crazy, unstable upbrining. He parents were hippies, and gave their children no direction...And then Joaquin's brother River Phoenix died...It messed the guy up in the head...clearly...Because "normal" people don't do stuff like this!

      September 23, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Lori

      TOTALLY agree with you. What a loser.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcia

      Giggleweed!! hahahaha

      September 23, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • kacki

      totally agree. I don't think people got as spoofed as you think, gigi. I think the problem was he should have stopped after that interview, THEN people would have been spoofed. As it was, people got tired of it and didn't care, and the movie was not well received. He had to "come out" very anti-climactically. It was a fizzle, and everyone ended thinking the guys crazy anyway. Sure, he's a great actor, but so what?

      September 23, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Andy Kaufman was known for blurring the lines between acting and reality, and more recently, Sasha Baron Cohen has made a name for himself this way. Hunter S. Thompson was a pioneer in this sort of "gonzo" art. I haven't seen the movie, but I want to. When I saw Phoenix on Letterman last year, I thought, "this guy's hilarious"

      September 23, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • OLM

      Wow! It must be hard living your life.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Turf

      "...try making a real movie now and then..."

      Seriously? Two Oscar nominations not enough for you? Glowing reviews and mega-hits not enough for you? No, you prefer that anyone who isn't you just relegate themselves to background status, remaining nothing more than a prop in your fantasy life..."please have no personality, thoughts or life outside of our fantasy, Mr. Celebrity. I can't handle reality".

      September 23, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • ficheye

      I agree with TURF. If these comments express the base intelligence of america we are doomed, certainly.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • blahblahblahblah

      Special thanks to Laurie, the armchair psychiatrist. Guess what? Not everyone aspires to be as normal, average and mediocre as possible. Some people manifest their creativity in ways other than scrapbooking.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      TO blahblahblah: What did I offend you?? Awwww poor baby...Can't handle a little logic?? Pffft...Oh and thanks for the compliment...I always thought I'd make an excellent psychiatrist...:0P

      September 24, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • auntiecarol69

      Well you can't please everyone.

      January 9, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  97. Frank

    Thank the Gods. I love Joaquin. I was worried about him.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Yeah he is great actor. I am glad (whether hoax or not) that he's back to his old self.

      September 23, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  98. Voice of Reason

    ...Bull S@&t; he was high as a kite, probably on weed 'cause he looked paranoid as hell.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • @voice of reason

      Wow your pretty dumb.. or maybe its ignorance. It was clearly an act. Pot doesnt make u act like that.... talent does. maybe some do you will have some.. but i doubt it.

      September 23, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • The Anti-Hoff

      @Voice = noob

      September 23, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter Griffin

      Interesting that you call someone dumb. Let's take a look at your intelligence by reviewing your post: Wow (no comma) your (you are) pretty dumb.. or maybe its (missing apostrophe) ignorance. It was clearly an act. Pot doesnt (missing apostrophe) make u act like that.... talent does. maybe (capitalize first word of sentence) some do you will have some.. but i (capitalization) doubt it.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • packyderm

      Peter Griffin, you're dumb.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Chicago

      Um...that is what actors do. High, paranoid, crazy, whatever the role requires.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • anti phoenix

      he was definately drunk and high. Numerous times in the video he is incoherent from drugs and alchohal at the bar scenes. He is a drug addict.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • jDEE

      lol ON weed.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      prolly taking that there weed cigarettes.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Squeeker

      HA HA HA!!!! Sounds like something my ignorant mom would say WAY BACK when I was in High School (no pun intended)... "You've come home again all 'souped-up' on pot!" What a yokel you are!

      September 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • BB

      Voice of Reason = Not too bright.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Biff

      Peter Griffin, what does the phrase "maybe (capitalize first word of sentence) some do you will have some.. " mean? Did you mean some day? And doesn't an ellipsis have three dots? I love it when some moron tries to correct somebody and f's it all up even more than the first guy.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • lavadisco

      Dear Biff,

      Peter Griffin was only quoting the errors in @voice of reason's original comment, go back and read the original! So your comment is not only idiotic, but mind-bendingly ironic.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skip

      This comeing from the man named peter griffen. I just hate how the only thing people can come back with is correcting someones punk-shoe-ation. Give it a reset. in this day and age, no 1 cares about , and . get over it. the person made a dumb statment, someone called them on it, and all you can say is oh you capitlized this word and didnt use a comma here and blah blah blah. dude, get a life will ya.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • blahblahblahblahblah

      @skip – Many thanks for defending the proud, defiantly stupid people of the world. I will rest easy knowing that there are many out there like you who will be staffing our nation's drive through windows and MTV's low-budget reality shows such as Tool Academy for the foreseeable future.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • wibik

      It's called "acting"...he's just that good! 🙂

      September 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • lula

      I like having it all, so I think he was both acting and high as a kite. Method acting, and all that...Joaquin is a tool. We all know that addiction is ugly, and celebrity-chasing is gross, we don't need his patronizing con to point that out. BTW, he's made millions from his job–but he still feels the need to insult the industry and his fans while making bank. I

      September 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • lula

      I like having it all, so I think he was both acting and high as a kite. Method acting, and all that...Joaquin is a tool. We all know that addiction is ugly, and celebrity-chasing is gross, we don't need his patronizing con to point that out. BTW, he's made millions from his job–but he still feels the need to insult the industry and his fans while making bank. I'd have slightly more respect if he just retired laughing up his sleeve, but instead he and Affleck are on the talkshow circuit saying, "See, not crazy after all–now pay $$ to see my film, and hire me for another." Gross.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred L. Fraud


      September 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  99. motionimage

    Ok good, now if I need any awkward actors I'll look you up

    September 23, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Herb Richman

      I liked and better related to the crazy Joaquin Phoenix much better. This new, I'm back" Joaquin is just another boring ego. I think that maybe Crispin Glover is much better at this kind of thing.

      Oh' gee', I'm sorry Dave, it was all an act for my new movie - BORING

      September 23, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • videoflyer

      @Herb Richman: If I were a friend of yours, I'd be pretty concerned about you right about now having learned that you relate better to the crazy guy. : )

      September 23, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Doing Butterflies

      Crispin Glover is awesome!

      September 23, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |

      Thank God it was a hoax, because he's one of my favorite actors. It's bad enough that River went over the deep end. It would have been tragic to see the same thing happen to his brother.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Hume

      Herb: I agree! He was much more engrossing and interesting as the hirsute, bespectacled Joaquin. As for the "free publicity" Letterman says he gave him, it did as much for Letterman's show as it did for Joaquin's movie. Enjoy it!

      September 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kohethanolic

      It was a daring stunt. Joaquin is incredibly talented and hell he knows that all too well. But what I am concerned about is that this guy is trying to live a movie character life in the real world. It is a dangerous game, he might one day end up like a movie character, dead, murdered in a very fictional way.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Namerequired

      @Biff, the phrase that followed his comment was actually written by the person to whom Peter Griffin was responding. (I will agree that it made no sense the first time either.)

      @ Dale, while Peter Griffin might be the name of a character which has been copyrighted, the image is most likely what would be protected, not the name itself. There could concievably be thousands of people with the name "Peter Griffin" and each would be, at least according to your message, in copyright infringement by simply signing their name on a letter.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funny!

      O M G, I am sorry I found the trailor online and I am STILL laughing, I cant stop, it was genius and DANNNNG funny if you ask me, that is funny s#$%#$%!!

      September 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |

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