In the wake of the revelation that I'm Still Here, the "documentary" about his retirement from acting and foray into rapping, was a fake all along, Joaquin Phoenix returned to Letterman, where he gave an interview in character that appears in the film, without the sunglasses and beard, to support the film's release.
Last time, Joaquin Phoenix got "a beatdown," in his own words - which, as it turns out, was exactly what he and director Casey Affleck were looking for. This time, it was Letterman's turn to eat crow, having unwittingly (or was it?) played right into Phoenix and Affleck's hands. He spends most of the first half of the interview discussing whether he believed Phoenix's character was really him, and whether or not the two were working from a script (they weren't, according to both of them), and the second half mockingly discussing his licensing and appearance fees.
If Letterman really was in on the joke, he and Phoenix are keeping a tight lid on it - for my part, I think Phoenix had Letterman at least partially convinced, given the way he was scrambling to cover his ass. We may never know, though - despite widespread predictions that I'm Still Here was a hoax (or mockumentary, as Casey Affleck put it), Phoenix can obviously be very convincing if he wants to be.
For his part, Joaquin Phoenix was looking as composed and stable as ever, and obviously has his formidable acting chops still intact. I'm Still Here is in theaters now, and given Letterman's demand for a million dollars in licensing and appearance fees, I'm sure he and Casey Affleck would appreciate it if you went and saw it. -peter menniti