Joaquin Phoenix is currently under the spotlight with what sounds to be a phenomenal performance in Joker, and a lot of fans are eager to see his take on the Clown Prince of Crime. Phoenix was asked to make a speech at the Toronto International Film Fest Gala, and he took the time to thank his late brother River for his career.
When I was 15 or 16, my brother River came in from work, and he had a VHS copy of a movie called Raging Bull, and he sat me down and made me watch it, and the next day, he woke me up and he made me watch it again, and he said, “you’re gonna start acting again. This is what you’re gonna do.” He didn’t ask me, he just told me, and I am indebted to him for that because acting has given me such an incredible life.
Unbeknownst to some people, Phoenix had an older sibling, River Phoenix, who was also an actor and had died at the age of 23 due to a drug overdose. This happened way back in the 90s, and Joaquin Phoenix himself was only a teen at the time.
It’s interesting that Phoenix should also mention that the movie that got him to commit to acting was Raging Bull, as that film was directed by Martin Scorsese. When it came to Joker, it was said that there was a lot of influence from Scorsese’s films, specifically Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. Scorsese himself is also attached to the film as a producer.
If anything, a lot of people are hyped to get this version of the Joker, and by the looks of it, it’s going to be some kind of major career milestone for Phoenix.
Or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Catch Joker when it hits theaters Oct. 4.