At long last, Joaquin Phoenix has made a public appearance to tell his version of what that whole hip-hop documentary mess was about. Appearing clean-shaven and back to normal on Letterman Wednesday night, Phoenix apologized to Letterman for any offense caused by his previous interview in February of 2009. In that interview, Phoenix appeared in character as a mumbling, monosyllabic drug user who had apparently given up his acting career to pursue life as a hip-hop artist. As was revealed earlier this week, it turned out the entire 19-month ruse was a stunt to promote Casey Affleck’s mockumentary about Phoenix’s invented alter-ego.

Now, the two-time Academy Award nominee says that the awkwardness of that interview should have been a tip-off, and in a thinly veiled insult he told Letterman, “I assumed that you would know the difference between a character and a real person.” Ouch.

Check out last night’s interview:

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