In her 26th and final appearance on the show, Roberts confesses she was initially nervous to be interviewed by Letterman

Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

After 26 appearances on the Tonight Show, Julia Roberts and David Letterman have developed a close (and flirtatious) friendship.

But on her final appearance on the CBS talk show Wednesday, Roberts confessed to being so anxious before her first interview with Letterman, that she almost declined to go on the show.

“The first time I was on this show was to promote Mystic Pizza, and as a fan of the show, did not want to come on because I had seen you absolutely dismember young actresses of my kind of peer group,” the 47-year-old actress revealed.

“And I thought, ‘I’m going to go on, and he’s going to know within 10 seconds what my IQ is, and you are going to like a samurai, just sort of like Benihana me into pieces and I’ll be left for dead and forgotten,’ ” she joked.

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“Well, I’m not going to dispute this,” Letterman, 68, replied, before asking Roberts why she thought he used to act that way.

“You didn’t behave that way to me,” she pointed out. “Thus the 26th appearance.”

When pressed for an answer, the Money Monster star joked, “Because I think stupid people annoy you.”

“Well, that explains my problem with self-loathing,” the comedian retorted with his trademark timing.

Letterman is stepping down from his hosting duties after 30-plus years on air May 20. Stephen Colbert is set to replace him on the Late Show.