Joaquin Phoenix drops the beard, apologizes to David Letterman

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Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman

On Wednesday, Joaquin Phoenix returned to Late Night With David Letterman to explain and apologize for the now-famous "mumbling" interview he gave last year. Letterman graciously accepted.

Depending on how you looked at it, this was either a continuation of the ruse or hoax or whatever you want to call it. One of Letterman's writers claims he gave Letterman jokes to throw into the mix in the first interview, but Letterman claims not to have known. Last night, he said he figured out it was a "goof" of some sort when Affleck's cameras were on Phoenix, but called himself "dumbbell Dave" and insisted he wasn't in on it.

"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 hope I didn't offend you in any way." Phoenix said. Letterman replied that he had so much fun, adding that "every one of [the jokes] was a dinger."

"We'd hoped to come on a talk show," Phoenix said, chuckling, "and I was looking for a beat down, and I got one. I want to thank you for that."

Phoenix also discussed his motivations for doing the show, saying that he was inspired by the terrible acting on fake "reality" shows. Check out a five-minute clip from the beginning of the two-part interview. (Assuming it gets taken down, I'll replace it with CBS' one-minute teaser.)