Letterman was in on the I’m Still Here joke too

A writer at Late Show with David Letterman has confirmed that Joaquin Phoenix‘s prickly interview with the talk show veteran was a fakery.

The sequence is the centerpiece of the debunked-documentary I’m Still Here, which purported to document the lost year of actor-turned-rapper Joaquin Phoenix. Director Casey Affleck confirmed last week that Phoenix’s retirement from acting and subsequent meltdown was merely a “performance”, and that many of the people featured in the film were in on the joke. In an interview with Nuvo, Late Show writer Bill Scheft says Letterman was one of those people.

“Think Andy Kaufman without shaving. That’s what he was doing. And Dave knew about it and Dave loved it because he could play along. He could do whatever he wanted with it. And he did, and it was great television…Dave loves that. He had a ball. He likes anything that’s good television, and he knew that’s good television.”

Knowing that the hilariously uncomfortable (and in the context of the film, deeply depressing) interview was intentional – and not merely a moment of serendipitous gold – only makes I’m Still Here an even richer experience.

Check out my full review here to read my thoughts on this extended piece of performance art.

And of course, relive the interview between Letterman and Phoenix below:

Discuss: How do you feel about Phoenix’s experiment knowing that Letterman was involved?

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