Joaquin Phoenix: 'I Wanted Out'

Actor Joaquin Phoenix knew he and his pal Casey Affleck were taking on a big project when they decided to make the mockumentary "I'm Still Here," but Phoenix admitted to "Extra's" Jerry Penacoli that he thought it got a little out of control.

"At some point, it became such a public spectacle," the actor said. "To be frank, we were kind of hostage to the process. There were times, honestly, where I wanted out. Even on a conventional film, I'm done after four months. But this went on and on."

Penacoli laughed with Phoenix about the moment when he and Affleck came up to him to say Phoenix was retiring from acting to pursue a music career.

The Oscar-nominated actor remembered, "Is this, like, the moment? Shall I announce my retirement right now? And [Casey] said yes. It wasn't planned. I didn't know that I was going to be talking to you. I had my head down and just walked right up and there you were."

As for Phoenix's bizarre 2009 appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman," the actor always knew once it was over, "Letterman" was the first place he'd go to talk about it. "I just wanted him to know it wasn't our intention to make him look bad in any way," Phoenix explained. "I wasn't on the show to make a fool of him. In this film, I think the only person who comes off as a real jerk is me."

And why did Phoenix go to all this trouble? "I wanted to make a movie with my friends and make one in a different way. I wanted to have a different experience, and I'm really happy to have done that."