Thursday, February 12, 2009

joaquin phoenix in Letterman

Joaquin Phoenix's Bizarre Letterman Appearance

Over the past several weeks, Joaquin Phoenix has been insisting that his rap career is for real. He has grown a shaggy beard, constantly wears sunglasses and gets defensive at any question asked, especially regarding his music career. But that was nothing compared to his appearance on Letterman last night.

The 34-year-old two-time Oscar nominee stuttered and stammered his way through the interview, looking lost and irritated a great deal of the time. Letterman, well known for his humor, made cracks at Phoenix's beard and the fact that he was chewing gum, all in an attempt to coax the actor to speak.

Joaquin Phoenix made a bizarre appearance on Wednesday night's Letterman to promote his film "Two Lovers," during what may be his last visit as an actor. Phoenix has insisted he is retiring from film to focus on his hip-hop career.

If you saw Joaquin Phoenix's on last night's Late Show With David Letterman and worried that the ''retired'' actor and aspiring rapper is losing his grip, take heart: People were wondering the same thing nine years and two Oscar nominations ago. Trawling through the EW archives we hit upon this item that seems like it could have been written this morning (with the words "The Yards" simply changed to "Two Lovers"), but is actually from Nov. 3, 2000. An excerpt:

"And the No. 1 bizarre talk show guest is...The Yards star [Joaquin] Phoenix! On a Late Show With David Letterman appearance, the actor came off as hilariously dazed and confused, claiming he couldn't remember his birthday or, at one point, where he got his tattoo. This follows a May spot on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in which Phoenix was so distracted Leno requested that he ''be here in person'' next time. Phoenix's camp had no comment, but Late Show exec producer Maria Pope replies: ''He's been on three times now. The first couple of times we thought there was a gas leak in the greenroom. Now we've determined, no, that's just Joaquin.''

Phoenix was unresponsive for part of the interview, while giving one word answers for other questions.

He has an uncomfortable exchange with Paul Shaffer, gets annoyed at the audience and won't even set up the clip from his movie "Two Lovers." That's before he takes the gum out of his mouth and sticks it to Letterman's desk.

Letterman ends the interview with, "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight."

It must be seen to be appreciated.