Joaquin Phoenix gives rare interview about late brother River

Joaquin Phoenix makes rare comments about his brother River who died 27 years ago: ‘We’ve all felt his presence and guidance in our lives’

Joaquin Phoenix rarely speaks about his movie star brother River Phoenix who died 27 years ago when he suffered a drug overdose outside the Viper Room in Hollywood.

But during a special episode of 60 Minutes with journalist Anderson Cooper, the 45-year-old actor touched on how much his late sibling meant to him.

‘I feel like in virtually every movie that I made, there was a connection to River in some way,’ Joaquin said.

Opening his heart: Joaquin Phoenix rarely speaks about his movie star brother River Phoenix but during a special episode of 60 with Minutes the 45-year-old star touched on how much his late sibling meant to him

A big influence: ‘I feel like in virtually every movie that I made, there was a connection to River in some way,’ Joaquin said

All together: Also sitting down for the interview was Joaquin’s mother Arlyn Sharon Phoenix, an American social activist, and his sisters Rain, Summer and Liberty

Joaquin, who was nominated for an Academy Award on Monday morning for his work on Joker, has a substantial resume that includes Gladiator and Walk The Line.

‘And I think that we’ve all felt his presence and guidance in our lives in numerous ways.’

He also relayed a story about River.

His older brother told him that one day he would be a more successful actor and he needed to embrace the job. 

‘He came home and very excitedly say, here’s this movie,’ said the star.  

The movie was the 1980 Martin Scorsese classic Raging Bull which features an outstanding performance by Robert De Niro.

A rare photo session: Here the movie star was seen during a sit down in Los Angeles in 1988. River died 27 years ago when he suffered a drug overdose outside the Viper Room in Hollywood

‘I think it just… awakened something in me,’ admitted Joaquin.

‘And I could suddenly see it through his eyes,’ he added.

And then Joaquin points out a scene in the movie where De Niro adds a detail to a scene that feels unforced.

‘There’s a part in Raging Bull where [Robert] De Niro meets a girl in between a chain-link fence. And he, you know, shakes her pinky and it’s like this just beautiful little detail, it’s this wonderful moment,’ he enthused.

A difficult role: He showed promise opposite Martha Plimpton in the 1988 film Running On Empty

With Keanu Reeves in the groundbreaking 1991 movie My Own Private Idaho from director Gus Van Sant

A big mainstream hit: He had a meaty role in the 1992 film Sneakers with Robert Redford

‘And I think that in some ways is what I’m always looking for.’

‘What are the possibilities? What more can we say about our experience, the human experience, in this moment?’ he added. 

River’s death was a shock to the world. He was only 23-years-old at the time and seemed to have a long, fruitful career ahead of him. His passing took place in 1993 with Joaquin by his side. 

‘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.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=eeziYo8KxQM%3Ffeature%3Doembed

So Joaquin of him: In the beginning of the interview Joaquin said he likes to do normal things like cook and see movies with his girlfriend, who is Rooney Mara, but then he said he didn’t want to talk about what he likes to do because it sounds weird

Don’t focus on me! ‘My job is to provide a service in a way… who f***ing cares man?’ he says, seemingly annoyed that he has to talk about himself

‘You know, River was a really substantial actor and movie star and we didn’t really know it.’

And having the passing be so public crippled the family in a way they found too challenging. 

‘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,’ he added. ‘Certainly, for me it felt like it impeded on the mourning process.’

Also sitting down for the interview was Joaquin’s mother Arlyn Sharon Phoenix, an American social activist.

A big day for JP: He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in Joker

And there was also his siblings Rain, Liberty, and Summer.

She is on the Board of Directors of Peace Alliance, an organization which supports the creation of a United States Department of Peace.

‘The grieving process happens out of nowhere,’ Joaquin’s mother explained. ‘Ya know, I’ll be driving and all of a sudden I will feel it. And I’ll just welcome it.’

In the beginning of the interview Joaquin said he likes to do normal things like cook and see movies with his girlfriend, who is Rooney Mara, but then he said he didn’t want to talk about what he likes to do because it sounds weird.

‘My job is to provide a service in a way… who f***ing cares man?’ he says, seemingly annoyed that he has to talk about himself.

Very close: Joaquin brought his lady love Rooney Mara to the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on January 5

 

 

 

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