Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre Letterman interview
Joaquin Phoenix has sparked fresh concerns for his mental health after a bizarre appearance on a US TV show.
The Oscar-winning actor, who recently quit Hollywood to launch a music career, looked disheveled and wore dark sunglasses during his awkward interview with talk show host David Letterman last night (11.02.09).
As Letterman repeatedly attempted to engage Phoenix in conversation, the 34-year-old star appeared uncomfortable and confused as he mumbled his words.
Letterman began the interview by saying: "It has been three years since your last visit. I just want to say now you look different from the last time. You have a beard going on now. Is it comfortable, is it itchy, are you pleased with it?"
A clearly uneasy Phoenix stumbled over his words as he replied: "How do you mean? I am OK with it, but now you are making me feeling weird about it."
Letterman then tried to lighten the atmosphere by laughing and saying: "I can't be the first one to make you feel weird about it."
Phoenix stared blankly when he was asked to recall a funny experience while working with Isabella Rossellini on his new film 'Two Lovers' - much to the amusement of the studio audience, who couldn't help laughing.
When Letterman moved on to Phoenix's new career in music, he still failed to engage with the star.
Letterman said: "So I am hoping that after some time off - and I think you are taking some time off tonight - you reconsider and return to acting. What are you doing now?"
Phoenix replied: "I have been working on my music. I am doing hip-hop music. This isn't a joke. Why are they laughing? What do you have them on? What did you gas them up with? Is there something kicking around in the air?"
As the laughter grew louder, an upset-looking Phoenix insisted: "I am serious about this. What is it with this maniacal laughter in here? I don't get it. Is this supposed to be fun?"
Letterman replied: "Come on we are just having fun. Maybe I will come to your house and just chew gum."
Phoenix then removed his gum from his mouth and stuck it under Letterman's desk, saying: "OK fine I don't have to chew gum."
Letterman ended the interview with a wry smile, saying: "I am sorry you couldn't be here tonight Joaquin."