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Joaquin Phoenix's Letterman Appearance -- HUH?!

Joaquin Phoenix's Letterman Appearance -- HUH?!

Joaquin Phoenix dropped by The Late Show With David Letterman on Thursday to promote his latest movie, Two Lovers.

The 34-year-old actor keeps his head down during most of the interview and doesn’t get very chatty. He even forgets his costar’s name — Gwyneth Paltrow!

In between the many awkward silences, Dave pokes fun at Joaquin‘s new look, asking, “What can you tell us about your days with the Unabomber?”

Joaquin does confirm he quit acting to pursue music. However, the audience does burst into laughter when he says he’s recording “more hip-hop music.”

Dave indirectly tells Joaquin it’s rude to chew gum during an interview. Joaquin then takes the gum out of his mouth and sticks it underneath Dave‘s desk!!! Dave ends the interview, saying, “Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight.”

Watch the must-see interview below. Two Lovers opens in theaters TOMORROW!

Joaquin Phoenix’s Letterman Appearance
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Photos: Michael Carpenter/WENN
Posted to: David Letterman, Joaquin Phoenix

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  • Michelle

    I can’t understand how Joaquin got like this….all homeless looking. And I’m sorry, but him doing hip hop music must be a joke. How can he go from an award nominating actor to this??? Clearly he must have been on drugs when he had a “wake up call.”

  • ollie

    Joaquin just was NOT going to take dave’s shit

  • richsugardaddy

    That was hilarious. He’s totally smiling behind the beard. He’s such a weird guy but a very intense actor. He should definitely try the comedy films when he gets poor. I can’t wait to see Casey Affleck’s documentery.


    definitely a joke !! he almost laughed a few times. Imagine kissing that fur ball, Hope he’s single at the mo !! Shave Joaquin don’t hide that lovely face !!

  • bella

    If this guy is doing an act, it will backfire.

  • remember the truth

    Losers, he’s filming a documentary. It was revealed a few weeks ago. Inside sources confirmed that he was going to quit acting, do hip-hop, and act all crazy in public. THAT is what they are filming for his doc. It’s a fcuking HOAX. It’s all an act. How can anyone believe this when people in the biz said this would happen and a couple months later IT HAPPENS? Gimme a break ppl, don’t be fooled. I think it’s cool and very intersting and funny, I just don’t want ppl actually thinking this is REAL.

  • tom

    Joquin has some serious personality and mental problems. I doubt he was acting. He’s a nut and acts like he’s never spoken to anyone on a social level before. Weirdo.

  • Fleece Baby

    He looks horrible!!

  • Eric

    Loved the interview! The only think I don’t like is Joaquin’s appearance! Seriously, why is it so impossible to make himself look nice? I mean come on, is it so hard for him to get a hair cut and shave. Especially the shaving part. I’m all for having a beard. I actually like to have the 3-4 day scruff on my face, but the way he has his beard is just terrible. Seriously man, shave once in awhile!

  • ST

    I really don’t think this is a joke either, it’s terribly sad. Joaquins a pretty weird dude and it’s obvious that he’s got issues.
    The clip is funny though. Kinda like watching huge car wrecks or kids just eating pavement on a skateboard, you know you shouldn’t laugh at it but it’s the only natural response.

  • Victoria

    I’m worried about him. He’s always brought out my maternal instincts and never more so than now. He needs compassion and protection and LOTS of therapy. Seems like he’s heading for a breakdown. Maybe the memories of his brother’s death are haunting him.

  • sbb

    OMG!! it is scary, i don’t know if Joaquin is acting but it seems like he makes a depression!

  • Jorge mantequila

    I saw this last night. It was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen on letterman. The best part is Paul Schaffer’s laugh when Letterman asks Pheonix to tell the audience about the video clip of his movie.

  • fzui

    Come on?This can´t be for real!!! It MUST be fake,because Joaquin shits on Hollywood .You no what´s really fake,the shit Letterman is saying about all the stupid actresses: “Ohh,XXX is awesome”.There all awesome even if they have no brain!!!FUCK!!
    .Joaquin is FUN!!!!!!!

  • Pappaomowmow

    pretty sad really, maybe he’s just had enough of the pretensious hollywood bs? It seems he does have problems, I felt quite sorry for him really, especially the way everyone was laughing at him the guy needs help it seems

  • Fanny Steinburg

    Wow! Dave Letterman was fantastic in handling the zone-out Joaquim Phoenix.
    Phoenix seems to be on some medication? I don’t know what it is? He is definitely on another planet.
    What I dislike is that these actors have made it, and then feel all sorry for themselves…pure self-indugent, ‘me me me’ nonsense.
    I will not be surprised if he goes the way of hia brother…look at the man for god’s sakes!!!!!!!!

  • http://none Westsideluv

    How bizzaro, he looks like a recluse, a shut-in! Honestly Joaquin wtf? I laughed the whole time! Dave and even his little sidekick with the glasses turned it into a funny interview (if you could even call it that). If I am not mistaken, did Joaquin burp? Shtick or not it was the funniest interview, hands down. I heard him say in past interviews that he likes to play jokes on the press and mess with them because he gets so bored. I think because he is now out of the acting game he thinks it’s appropriate to act like he doesn’t care about the film. It will be interesting to see him do other press interviews. He was such eye candy up until now. I hope he gets rid of that Wolf Man Jack look soon!

  • Jode

    I think Joaquin is trying to make a point with this character. Maybe he is joking with the Medias, and of those who makes easily assumptions and make great headlines about those same assumptions.
    He is a smart intelligent man. He can’t just have changed like that from day to night.
    And, I think David wouldn’t laugh so easily of Joaquin words and attitude if, they were sign or consequence of a distressing real life situation.
    One day, we’ll find out what is the true side of this story.

  • Leeann

    I dont think that this was fake in any way – I do however think that Jaoquin needs to get some help before he does a complete downward spiral. He is one hell of an actor, and a lot of actors have been known to have some kind of break down – I think this is his and I hope someone helps him before its too late.

  • lola

    Real or fake, I don’t know. I don’t know the guy.

    If it is real, why does everyone want to say he’s on drugs? He never really seemed all that comfortable doing the press part of things, so maybe now that he’s removed himself from the film business he’s even more nervous than usual.

    What I didn’t get was why he didn’t just get up and walk off?? Dave and the audience basically spent the entire time laughing at him. I felt bad for him and kept waiting for him to just get up and go.

  • http://gpost Team Lara Croft

    not sure if this is real or not. yes, i laughed but now i feel uncomfortable. he may be in pain. i dunno. it’s weird. and tragic because he is soooo talented.

  • jayjay

    I love him – he’s a great actor. I hope he’s okay.

  • krungkrung

    Letterman is an idiot, i’d take Phoenix anytime than Letterman.

  • http://none joy

    I agree with lola. Was this a hoax? It seemed ridiculously cruel for DL to sit there and make blatant fun of JP while the audience laughed. JP seems like such a gentle, shy person, the kind who wouldn’t hurt a fly. If he was high on something, why would they let him go on the set?

    If he is having emotional problems, why would DL pick on him that way? Is laughing at the mentally ill the new American sport?

    It was not funny to me AT ALL…it made me very uncomfortable.

    Love and best wishes to Joaquin Phoenix…he’s a sweetheart.

  • Glambabybumps

    Letterman was hilarious!!

  • Elie

    Why would any actor in his right mind act like this while trying to promote his career? He’s obviously not in his right mind and is mentally ill. I really pray he gets help.

  • eliza

    I thought I noticed him pulling his dark glasses down for a second when he shook hands with Dave at the end. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave Dave a wink before he left. I think this is a stunt.

  • hmm

    If this is a stunt, it’s not funny because he’s making a lot of people feel genuine concern and worry for him!

    I agree with 70/74 and felt bad for him as well. It was just sad and Dave wouldn’t stop.

  • Jessica

    Even if it is a joke, it’s not funny. Mental illness is a very serious thing and affects our society in a profound way, and making a joke out of it like this is disgusting.

    I used to like Joaquin (I loved his performance in Walk The Line, it’s what got me into Johnny Cash), but I have lost all respect for him now.

  • Amanda

    ahhhhhhh nooooo seriously this guy needs help he has gone off the dangerous deep end(like other nameless members of his family previously have…and not with desired results) but honestly someone get this guy counseling or check him into a rehab center or something, anything. geezz this interview scares me. He is a tremendously talented actor, please do not get me wrong, Walk the Line is one of the best movies in HISTORY, ever made, and he sooooo soooo sooooo deserved not only his Oscar nomination in 2006 for that movie, but he most definitely also deserved to win for his AMAZING portrayal of Johnny Cash, unfortunately it was not his year, let’s put it that way, because Philip Seymour Hoffman had to take that away from him, really ashame because although Philip is a great actor also, he always wins and takes it away from others to the point where it gets annoying and tiresome after awhile. Reese picked up all her awards for Walk the Line, so why shouldn’t Joaquin have also? His performance was utterly outstanding.(and so was Reese Witherspoon’s of course, the entire movie ROCKSSS, see it if you havent already, and i apologize for going on this pro-Walk the Line tangent which is way off topic from where i started this post at!!) back to what i was originally saying: Everyone, please do not (whatever you do) diss Joaquin in any way whatsoever, he is awesome, talented, and an amazing person. Though, i admit he can be very odd, bizzare, and freaky,insane, and intense/extreme(he really gets “into” his roles, which only makes him a better actor, but also makes him that much more intense sometimes, since he usually plays “intense” roles in movies) he seems like he needs help right now, this is a serious issue, i am not joking around here. This is not a normal interview, this is one of the most awkward and pointless interviews I have seen in a while/long time, or even ever. I don’t have anything else to say, he needs help and assistance with his issues not criticism and this is soo ridiculous. He can sing and he is a good musician, but come on, really, a career in hip-hop/rap music at this time in his life has got to be a complete joke, but i know its not a joke which totally confuses me. why is he doing this? he is only ruining his life, he is such a great actor!!! (Watch Parenthood (1980′s movie with Steve Martin, one of Joaquin’s first movie appearances, he was a young teen and is INCREDIBLE in it, and it is a fantastic movie)he seems sooo drunk/high in this interview. why does he like not talk at all and avoid fully answering almost every question posed to him by Letterman? and why is he unable to laugh at any of David’s jokes? something is up with this man. great man, but an odd one lets simply leave it at that for now. lol damn this is endless haha

  • DB

    All I have to say is very bizare

  • tim

    Wow everyone needs to take a chill pill. While Joaquin is no Andy Kauffman, he sitll doing an excellent job of highlighting the absurdity of celebrity adoration, and the public and celebrity news sites are eating it up with a spoon. It’s been well established that he and Casey Affleck are making a documentary to show they can get the media to believe anything they want. They purposely kept Letterman out of the loop to keep the interview as genuine as possible. The audience was laughing because they actually have a sense of humour unlike most people here it seems.

  • Riley

    he was coked off his ass, no secret he digs the white powder

  • xsleekx

    yea i agree with someone who said they think he is having some sort of breakdown, i feel sorry for him, i reckon he’s making a big cry out to people, he’s gotten really weird and he seems to really need to be with down to earth people….i herd he has a crazy paving background and sounds like he needs a rest not just from acting but the whole scene…….even though he kept going he must have felt really embarrased… david L made a joke i think he went too far…and it was pretty uncomfortable watching…. ps he should cut his hair, whats the point of hiding his face its pretty attractive when its fuzz free……

  • sooze


  • mountain123

    I think that this may be an act. Notice how he almost breaks into a smile when Dave is messing with him and at the end how he shakes his hand and takes off his glasses quickly to acknowledge him at the end of the interview when he wore them during the entire time. His body language during the interview is so reserved and annoyed, but right after it is finished it is like he clicks out of character to be real with Dave.
    Not sure that its real folks.

  • P.

    just please dont say thats hilarious. what david and the audience did was really not cool. they should have left this guy alone, he doesnt look like he wants to be in a public eye. especially totally laughed at. it must have hurt when the whole audience was laughing at his dreams or whatever hes doing and enjoying. people really should shut up sometimes. so should letterman.

  • bettedavis

    it s sad the way they make fun of him, he must feel so misunderstood . He is just different, uncomfortable with success and with all this fakeness. You go Joachin, be yourself man, high or not, talkative or mute, you stand out there. Bless you Bro.

  • mariana brazilian girl

    I agree with you lavagirl #6.
    That was painful to watch.
    I love you Joaquin. What’s going on with you man?
    That’s not funny.

  • zzz

    looks to me like his just trying to be like bob dylan, check out some of his interviews

  • 1185

    he is not misunderstood or something-!

    this is totaly fake,, a project with casey^^
    and i’m sure he said this to letterman at the end

  • ss

    you people need to lighten up a bit…look at his career as an actor, this is nothing out of the ordinary for him. he is an extremely talented and eccentric person and i’m sure there is some purpose behind it, even if he is just trying to be funny by his own measure. whoever was talking about alienating his fans needs to pull the stick out.

  • gem

    This was a joke. Several times you could see JP hold back from laughing. And at the end of the clip, when they shake hands they whisper something to each other. Dave was definitely in on it. It was very funny! JP was very funny. He couldn’t remember Gweneth Paltrow’s name–but the moment Dave forgot to mention the other actress, JP said it–he wasn’t out of it at all.

  • Griselda


  • remember da truth

    His fans won’t be alienated — I’m not.
    And Dave was quite insulting if the guy is having a breakdown. Notice the difference in Dave before the commercial and afterward. He might have known something was up but was gentle before and laughing at it much more afterward. Dave handled it great.

    Joaquin hates doing press and being famous, so I think this is a whole schtick on that and what it does to people. But then again, he could be having a breakdown as Walk the Line brought up a lot of family emotions for him and he does have the family disease of substance abuse.

    Either way, Andy Kaufman made people uncomfortable and question what was funny and what wasn’t, and was more a performance artist. I think that’s what Joaquin is trying to do here. If you are disturbed or put off, that’s what he’s wanting you to feel and question about yourself — why do you feel that way, and what role have you played in celebrities’ fame?

  • Trine

    Love you Joaquin <3 you are my teddybear !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nigger lucas

    he was dumb on the show.