Joaquin Phoenix credited his late sibling River Phoenix an endearing speech while accepting an award for his performance in ‘Joker’ at the Toronto International Film Festival. Joaquin tells the attendees of the awarding ceremony that River helped him find his way back toward acting after his initial experiences in acting as a child left him discouraged.
“He said: ‘You’re going to start acting again,'” the acclaimed actor recalled. “He didn’t ask me, he told me. And I am indebted to him for that because acting has given me such an incredible life.” Joaquin received the TIFF Tribute Actor Award.
The Academy Award nominee is generating Oscar buzz once again for his take on the comic book villain, The Joker. The film’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival reportedly received an 8-minute long standing ovation from its audience. The dark psychological thriller is a diversion from the usual comic book genre film.
Joaquin looked back to when he was 15 as his older brother “made me watch” Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980) starring Rober DeNiro.
“And the next day he woke me up, and he made me watch it again. And he said, ‘You’re going to start acting again, this is what you’re going to do.’” Joaquin recalled as credits his acting career to River.
River died of drug-induced cardiac arrest after he overdosed back in 1993 at the age of 23. He was the eldest of five siblings Rain, Joaquin, Liberty, and Summer. The young actor is regarded as one of the brightest talents of his generation prior to his death.