(Click Here to Watch a Preview of Phoenix’s Interview on Tonight’s LATE SHOW)

Actor Joaquin Phoenix returns to the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 22, his first television appearance since his much-talked-about February 2009 visit to the CBS broadcast.

“You know I’ve always liked you,” Letterman said at the beginning of the interview, “I’ve been to see your movies, I’ve always liked you.  I recognize you as a powerful talent – that Johnny Cash thing, you were tremendous in that.  And then a year- and-a-half ago, you come out and, honestly, it’s like you slipped and hit your head in the tub.  And I knew immediately when you sat down, something ain’t right, because if you’re really the way you appeared to be, you don’t go out.  You know what I mean?  People don’t let guys like you out if you’re really like that.  You don’t go out.”  “Right,” Phoenix responded.  “Yeah,” said Letterman, and after an awkward pause, the host asked, “So what do you have to say for yourself?”  “Well, thank you for letting me come on the show last time,” Phoenix said.  “Yes, well, we’ve been dying to have you back a year-and-a-half,” remarked, and Phoenix added, “No, I meant last time, but this time as well.”

Debunking recent rumors, Letterman later asked, “Now let me ask you a couple of questions.  You’re retiring to pursue a career in music.  To me, that seems – excuse me, I mean, you did sing in the film, but it seems unlikely because you’ve been nominated for two Academy Awards.  I, frankly, when I heard about it later, was surprised that anybody had believed it.  And then after seeing you here – first of all, really all I care about is me in this.  Now, did I know anything about this?”  Phoenix flatly responded, “No.”  Letterman then asked, “Yeah.  Was there a script that you and I were working with?”  “No,” Phoenix responded.  “Thank you very much,” Letterman said, “I was not part of it, was I?”  “Yeah, but, like you said,” Phoenix said, “I mean, I think that you’ve interviewed many, many people and I assumed that you would know the difference between a character and a real person, so – but I apologize.  I didn’t – I hope I didn’t offend you in any way…”  “Oh, no – oh, no, no, no, I was not offended.  I’m telling you, it was so much fun.  It was batting practice, you know what I mean?  Every one of them was a dinger.”  “Well, we’d hoped to come on a talk show,” Phoenix laughed, “and I was looking for a beat down, and I got one…I want to thank you for that.”

Phoenix’s entire interview can be seen on the LATE SHOW tonight (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.  Also on tonight’s broadcast, music legend Tom Jones performs.

The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated.  Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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