A clean-shaven Joaquin Phoenix makes his long-awaited return to the "Late Show" on Wednesday night, and he thanks David Letterman for the "beat down" Dave gave him during his uber-awkward visit to the show in February 2009.
Phoenix, who for a time tried to convince the world that he'd reinvented himself as a scraggly, mumble-mouthed rapper, tells Dave that it was only an act for his farcical new "documentary," 'I'm Still Here.'
“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," Joaquin tells Dave, "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," Dave assures him, while adding that he knew nothing about the actor's ruse. "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,” Joaquin laughs, “and I was looking for a beat down, and I got one…I want to thank you for that.”
For more, catch the "Late Show" tonight at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.