Rewarded Sunday night at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, Joaquin Phoenix is an anti-system actor. Back on his extraordinary career.
Joaquin Phoenix is a UFO in Hollywood. The 42-year-old actor, awarded for his role in You Were Never Really Here, during the 70th Cannes Film Festival, has indeed more than one stroke of brilliance to its credit. And an extraordinary childhood. L’Express takes stock.
Birth in a sect
It all started with the birth of Joaquin Phoenix within the Children of God sect. John, Arlyn Bottom and their five children spent some time there in the 1970s. In the magazine Playboy, in 2014, Joaquin Phoenix defends the choice of his parents and does not reproach them for this different living environment. “I believe they had a religious and powerful experience. They wanted to share it with other people. […] They thought they had found a community that shared their ideas. Cults rarely present themselves as such. ”
Even after their departure from the cult, the life of the Bottoms who have become Phoenix remains astonishing. In Telerama, in 2015, Joaquin, who called himself Leaf (“leaf” in French) until he was 15, remembers those years with nostalgia. “We lived quite freely, we lived on the beach in Venezuela for a long time, we played a lot of music, my older sister and brother did the round to feed the family and I often accompanied them.”
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The Phoenix family amazes, and many American journalists are interested in their way of life. What he remembers from these “flower power” years ?: “A great consideration for others and for the world in which we live. A real mistrust vis-à-vis materialism and consumption at all costs”, says Joaquin Phoenix at Telerama.
Marked by the sudden death of his brother
River Phoenix, four years his senior, became a famous actor in 1986. But fame was a heavy burden: in 1993, when he began a romance with Kate Moss, River died of an overdose. He is in Joaquin’s arms, on the sidewalk of the Viper Room, a Los Angeles nightclub owned by Johnny Depp.
Joaquin Phoenix’s phone call to the fire department that night was broadcast all over the press. This is too much for the actor who interrupts his career the next day. He returns two years later in Ready for everything, by Gus Van Sant, and gives the reply to Nicole Kidman.
Addicted to alcohol because of a role
Very invested in all the roles he takes, Joaquin Phoenix sinks into alcohol after playing Johnny Cash in the film Walk The Line.
In 2005, he entered detoxification, and attended Alcoholics Anonymous. “It’s the best thing I’ve done,” he assures New York Times this year. In his biography entitled He’s Still Here, released in 2011, Phoenix still ensures “prefer sobriety”.
La “blague” I’m Still Here
Joaquin Phoenix announced in 2008 that he was ending his career. Long-haired and bearded, he says he wants to get into rap. At the time, blogger Perez Hilton questioned the truth of the ad, but Phoenix is holding on.
In 2009, on the plateau of Late Show of David Letterman, he gives a surrealist interview in which he appears inconsistent. While he’s supposed to be promoting what he says is his last movie, Two Lovers, he hardly talks about it.
In fact, Joaquin Phoenix is making the movie I’m Still Here, directed by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck. It is a “mockumentary” (a false documentary) on the supposed new musical life of the actor. “David Letterman didn’t know, Phoenix tells the magazine Playboy. […] I can understand that people felt duped. I think I would have had the same reaction. “Despite everything, the actor does not regret anything: he says he has the impression of having been” released “by this role.
Insults at the Oscars
As if fooling his audience for a few years was not enough for him, Joaquin Phoenix insults the Academy of Oscars in 2012, during an interview with the magazine Interview. “I think it’s bullshit. Total bullshit, I don’t want to participate in this. I don’t believe it,” he says. “It’s a carrot, but it’s a carrot that tastes really bad. I don’t want that carrot, it’s totally subjective. Pitting people against each other. It’s the most thing. stupid of the world. ”
He was nevertheless nominated for the Oscars three times during his career: in 2001 for the best supporting role in Gladiator, then for the role of the best actor in Walk The Line, in 2006, and for The Master, in 2013. The actor, who would be in a relationship with Rooney Mara, has, for the moment, never obtained the golden statuette.