Speed Reads

agent of chaos

Watch Joaquin Phoenix's incredibly uncomfortable Jimmy Kimmel interview

Joaquin Phoenix just introduced a little more anarchy into the Joker press tour.

Phoenix appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night for what turned out to be a wildly uncomfortable interview, which seemed to be getting off on the wrong foot right away when Phoenix appeared fairly disinterested in discussing how much weight he lost for the movie, one of Kimmel's very first questions.

After informing Kimmel he knows almost nothing about him, Phoenix talked about dancing by himself when he was a kid, and when Kimmel joked about it, Phoenix with an annoyed tone responded, "You're making fun of it, but it was serious for me."

But the whole thing culminated with Kimmel showing a supposed outtake from Joker in which Phoenix flips out on set, only for Phoenix to react as if he didn't expect the clip to be played.

"This is so embarrassing," Phoenix said. "...It was supposed to be private." After stumbling through an explanation for the clip, Phoenix awkwardly asked Kimmel, "can we move on?"

This strange appearance, which the live audience seemed unsure how to react to, immediately set off a debate online about whether Phoenix legitimately was flustered, though it seemed more likely this entire interview was another one of his late-night stunts after his infamously awkward appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, during which he was in character for his mockumentary I'm Still Here.

Indeed, Phoenix's publicist told Entertainment Weekly the clip shown was a "joke outtake," suggesting Phoenix was in fact just doing a bit. Once again, on the late night talk show circuit, some men just want to watch the world burn. Brendan Morrow