David Letterman was in on the elaborate Joaquin Phoenix hoax that saw the actor dramatically change his appearance, whilst claiming to have quit acting to pursue a career in rap music, reports Entertainment Weekly. Although director Casey Affleck recently admitting much of the documentary 'I'm Still Here' was staged, he still stood by the fact that only he, Phoenix, and the actor's agent were aware of the hoax. However, a resurfaced interview with 'Late Show' writer BILL SCHEFT claims otherwise.
Speaking to the independent newspaper Nuvo, Scheft revealed how Letterman was in on the prank, stating, "Dave knew about it, and Dave loved it because he could play along.It was great television." He also claimed that he was met with a fierce backlash when he originally tried to expose the hoax, saying, "I've told people that everyone is in on the joke, and not only don't people believe me, they tell me that I'm wrong and that Phoenix is a schizophrenic and he needs help and he's going to end up like his brother. I said no. I saw the segment notes. It's an act. I saw Ben Affleck's brother taping the whole thing from offstage".
'I'm Still Here' debuted at the Venice Film Festival this year to relatively favourable reviews, however, speculation that Phoenix's recent behaviour was a hoax intensified when it was rumoured that he would be starring in a number of upcoming movies, including the drama 'Genius', and indie flick 'The Big Shoe'.