Joaquin Phoenix has been the whole talk of Hollywood over the last year for his leading role in Joker. His performance as troubled comedian Arthur Fleck has been praised globally, and his dedication and commitment to becoming the character have been strongly applauded.
But there is a lot more to the actor than what meets the eye. He opts to keep his personal life as guarded as possible, but a slip of the tongue has revealed some information about Pheonix's new child with actress Rooney Mara and it's extremely heartwarming...
Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara are one of Hollywood's cutest couples.
via: GettyThough the A-Listers like to keep their private life very private, recently they've hit the headlines after it was revealed that Mara was pregnant with the couple's first child.
And on September 27th, it was reported she had the baby...
via: GettyAfter keeping the entire thing a secret for 9 months, the couple officially had the baby and have already given him a name that they hold close to their hearts.
Phoenix hardly ever does "emotional", but it's time to remove the makeup...
via: GettyIf you didn't know, Joaquin Phoenix has been known for the past year as The Joker, but there's a lot more about the actor than what we certainly expected.
Joaquin comes from a family of eccentric names...
via: IMDBBorn in Peurto Rico on October 28th, 1974, Phoenix was the third of 5 children.
His parents were free spirits...
via: TwitterJohn and Arlyn Bottom, crossed paths while Arlyn - who later changed her name to Heart - was hitchhiking across Mexico and John picked her up in his Volkswagen. The pair spent years traveling all over the U.S. and South America as missionaries - spreading the word of Children of God, a religious cult.
His acting career began back in 1986...
via: IMDBThe forty-four-year-old actor is well known for his colorful characters with disturbed backgrounds, such as the warped Roman emperor Commodus in Gladiator, the sex-obsessed alcoholic veteran in The Master, and even the man who falls in love with a computer in Her.
He has been previously branded as the "recluse of Hollywood"...
via: IMDBIn 2005, Joaquin checked into rehab to be treated for alcoholism, and his reserved and shy demeanor gave him an unusual and quirky character.
It appears that these personality traits came from somewhere...
via: Getty ImagesIt has been that Joaquin is drawn to playing disturbed characters, such as The Joker, because his past is riddled with tragedy and is haunted by demons that he still struggles with to this very day.
The religious cult that his parents were a part of began to raise suspicions...
via: Getty ImagesThe Children of God cult strongly believed that in order to praise and love God, members must be open with having sex with one another - regardless of gender or age. "It actively encouraged sexual activities among minors as young as two or three years old," an ex-member of the cult said in an interview.
The cult that Joaquin's family were a part of held some terrible secrets...
via: TwitterIt later emerged that the cult encouraged sex between children and adults, including group sex and incest.
Some of the family members made some bold accusations.
via: Getty ImagesJoaquin's late eldest brother, who died in 1993, once claimed to have lost his virginity aged 4, although the Joker star is adamant that his parents didn’t know about the inside goings-on of the cult.
He didn't blame his parents for the things he was exposed to...
via: Getty Images"It's guilt by association. I think it was really innocent on my parents' part," he said. "They really believed [in the religious aspect], but I don’t think most people see it that way. "I think my parents thought they'd found a community that shared their ideals - cults rarely advertise themselves as such. The moment my parents realized there was something more to it, they got out."
When the family left the cult, they had barely any income.
via: TwitterThey were all vegans and were struggling to live in poverty. The family moved to Florida and this is where they changed their surname to Phoenix - to commemorate their new lives and to symbolize their rise from the ashes.
Joaquin was forced to busk the streets to provide for his family...
via: TwitterBut it wasn't long until the talented siblings were scouted by agents and had their acting careers kick-started.
Things seemed to be improving for the family...
via: Getty ImagesBut 1993 saw Joaquin's twenty-three-year-old brother perform at Los Angeles' infamous The Viper Room, part-owned by Johnny Depp. Joaquin and his sister Rain attended the gig, but they were unaware that their brother had consumed a drink that was a cocktail of illegal drugs.
He died on the night of October 30th, 1993.
via: Getty ImagesIn the early hours, he suffered an overdose, and collapsed outside on the street, where he convulsed for over 5 minutes before he died. While Rain desperately tried resuscitating him, Joaquin made a frantic 911 call – which was later released to the media.
A true tragedy.
via: TwitterThe heartbreaking tape revealed a panic-stricken Joaquin begging: "He’s having seizures! Get over here please! You must get over here please! Because he’s dying... please."
Joaquin has rarely spoken about this tragic event...
via: IMDB...until very recently.
Nearly twenty-seven years on from the tragic death, Joaquin has opened up in a rare interview with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes.
via: YouTubeDuring the revealing interview, Joaquin and his family talk about the impact that River's death had on them.
During the program, the Joker star admitted that the media's presence had a huge impact on his grieving process.
via: YouTube"We were so removed from the entertainment world. We didn't watch entertainment shows. We didn't have the entertainment magazines in our house," Joaquin told Cooper. "You know, River was a really substantial actor and movie star and we didn't really know it." "During that time in which you're most vulnerable, there are helicopters flying over, there are people that are trying to sneak onto your land. "Certainly, for me, it felt like it impeded on the mourning process."
It's clearly something Joaquin struggles with to this very day.
via: YouTubeAt the time, it took him 2 years to return to Hollywood, the trauma of losing his brother in such horrific circumstances clearly still has a huge effect on him. During the program, the family admitted that even more than 2 decades on, grief can reemerge unexpectedly.
Joaquin's mother opened up about this further:
via: YouTube"The grieving process happens out of nowhere," she explained. "Ya know, I'll be driving and all of a sudden I will feel it. And I'll just welcome it."
Joaquin says he still feels his brother's presence in his life.
And that has never been truer as Phoenix and his finance, Rooney Mara, name their first child after his late brother.
via: GettyThough the couple hasn't officially come out to make the announcement, filmmaker Viktor Kossakovsky let the news slip at the Zurich Film Festival.
Kossakovsky and Phoenix are both executive producers on Gunda.
via: GettyBut when Phoenix didn't turn up to the festival, the filmmaker revealed the well-hidden secret as an excuse for his absence in a video that you can watch at the end of this article.
He said this:
via: Getty"He just got a baby, by the way, his name was… a beautiful son called River, so he cannot promote it [the film] now," Metro reported.
And the news went down really well with fans who were touched by the heartwarming tribute...
Here's the full clip of the slip-of-the-tongue announcement:
🚨 Viktor Kossakovsky 📽️, Gunda: He just had a baby Boy who's Called River. ( about Joaquin) https://t.co/WuUISnuTsZ— Max California's Lover (@Max California's Lover)1601237204.0