Sept 22nd 2010
But then Phoenix took the tale in a different direction. “Yeah, but, 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 the new positions of these two are: Dave wants you to think he knew “somethin’ ain’t right” but he didn’t know it was a put-on for a movie project, and Joaquin wants you to know he assumed Dave did know it was a put-on, because Dave is such a pro, he can sniff out a phony a mile away.
“But I apologize,” said Phoenix. “I hope I didn’t offend you in any way.” “Oh, no, no, no, I was not offended,” said Letterman. ” 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.” Ah, so Dave did know he was being tossed softballs, as one of his writers, Bill Scheft, has said. It’s just that they didn’t have a script.
Gee, I think we witnessed two guys hustling each other, and their audiences.
Phoenix drifted into snooze-ville when he said he and Affleck had wanted to make a movie that “explored celebrity and the media and people who consume celebrity.” He said he’d gotten the idea from “watching a lot of reality shows. I was amazed people believed them… The acting was terrible.” Joaquin, let me introduce you to Media Studies 101: Reality TV is not real.
Letterman cut through all this by saying all he cared about was that “I had been made a fool of. Do I come off like a jerk?” He said Phoenix owed him “a million dollars [from] all the promotion — we want something for that.”
“Can we talk about this privately?” said Phoenix, trying to deflect the joke.
“Yeah,” Letterman shot back. “We’ll go to one of your screenings.”
A minute later, I saw an ad for I’m Still There “available On Demand Sept. 24. So it’s no blockbuster, but this fake feud and fake make-up-and-be-pals was highly amusing, in its gleefully cynical way.
What do you think?