When you’re the star of a major motion picture, it’s obvious that you’ll likely have to appear on one of the late-night talk shows to help promote the project. Normally, these appearances include a quick interview where the celeb talks about how great the movie is and how everyone is a joy to work with, followed by a silly game that is played to show that the star is really just like everyone else. Last night, however, that’s not what happened with Joaquin Phoenix on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
As seen in the clip below, the interview with Phoenix went pretty well for the first seven or so minutes, with Joaquin Phoenix being his typical self, discussing his potentially Oscar-worthy turn in “Joker.” But then, Kimmel threw a curveball that was intended to be funny but ended up leading to one of the more awkward exchanges you’ll find on late-night TV all year.
After discussing how joyful the set of “Joker” was during filming, Kimmel tells Phoenix that director Todd Phillips supplied him with an exclusive outtake from the set. When it was shown, the footage featured Phoenix in his Joker makeup having a verbal disagreement with cinematographer Lawrence Sher over the DP “constantly whispering.” The actor ends up storming off set and is visibly upset.
Obviously, when you’re trying to promote a film, it’s not a great thing to be confronted with clear video showing you being difficult during production, but that’s exactly what happened to Phoenix.
“Sometimes movies get intense,” he explained. “You have a lot of people in a small space and you’re trying to find something. That was supposed to be private, I’m a little embarrassed by that. I’m sorry you guys had to see that.”
“I should probably publicly apologize to Larry,” Phoenix added. “The thing is though, I am sorry, but he did whisper constantly while we’re trying to work, and sometimes it’s really hard to find the emotion that you’re after, so it was wrong of me and I’m sorry, but he shouldn’t have done it.”
Ultimately, the appearance ended on a good note with the actor salvaging an uncomfortable situation, but the cringe is real with this clip and it’s one of the most awkward interviews you’ve seen all year.
You can watch the clip below.