Joaquin Phoenix said he was leaving acting to start up a career in hip-hop. Should viewers, then, have been so shocked by the eccentric appearance of Phoenix on David Letterman?
The dilemma is that we just don’t know. EW even posed the question as to whether the whole thing was a hoax.
I have never seen an interview in which the interviewer had to both ask and answer the questions. Phoenix seemingly had no mercy on David Letterman. The most he could manage was a grunt or short answer. I think he actually smiled twice, but it was a little difficult to tell if he was strung-out, extremely nervous, or angry at David’s attempts to keep the interview afloat.
You can’t blame David Letterman. Joaquin Phoenix was funny, whether he meant to be or not.
He came out hiding behind a beard that would require a bush-hog to cut, a dark suit, and dark shades. He identified scratching his beard as a nervous tic, but he also brushed invisible lint from his suit – a sign of nervousness, swung his legs, and twiddled his thumbs.
Was he acting? If the Joaquin Phoenix appearance was a big put-on, then he deserves an award for that performance. David played right into it, or handled it like a pro, whichever the night called for; he managed to pull hilarity from the grips of an interview in which he was being told “I don’t know,” to every question.
Joaquin couldn’t remember his co-stars in Two Lovers, without being prompted by Letterman. He couldn’t set up the promo clip and didn’t know the movie was based on a novel. According to Joaquin, he hasn’t seen the movie.
Joaquin isn’t that insecure, he is an incredible actor – who by the way can’t explain why he is leaving acting. Could he have been that strung out? He did take off his sunglasses and look at David when he shook his hand before leaving.
At least he shook his hand after he stuck his gum under the edge of Letterman’s desk, asked what Letterman gassed the audience with when they snickered at Phoenix’s mention of a hip-hop career, and seemed genuinely perturbed that Letterman wouldn’t issue him an instant invitation to perform on the show. Phoenix made a derogatory comment to the effect that he’d seen the talent on their before, as if to say, “give me a break.”
Some EW fans are sure the interview was a hoax or publicity stunt for Phoenix career change. Others are adamant that Joaquin Phoenix was exhibiting social anxiety.
All I know is that it was funny, the funniest interview I’ve ever seen – because there was no interview.
You have to watch it. The video of Joaquin Phoenix is all over the net, but just catch it up on EW.com. Be sure to watch the entire thing. It’s funny through-out.
What do you think? Were Phoenix and Letterman in on this together, or was this the biggest bombed interview of the decade- even worse than Sarah Palin with Katie Couric.
Bruno, Mike, “Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman: Real or hoax, that was good TV,” EW.com
Tucker, Ken, ” Joaquin Phoenix on ‘David Letterman’: Huh????, EW.com