Joaquin Phoenix

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Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix (2005).jpg
Phoenix at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005
Born Joaquín Rafael Bottom
(1974-10-28) October 28, 1974 (age 39)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Other names Leaf Phoenix
Occupation Actor, music video director, film producer, musician, social activist
Years active 1982–present
Parents Arlyn Phoenix
John Lee Bottom
Relatives River Phoenix (brother)
Rain Phoenix (sister)
Summer Phoenix (sister)

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix (/hwɑːˈkn ˈfnɪks/; Bottom, born October 28, 1974), formerly credited as Leaf Phoenix,[1] is an American actor, music video director, producer, musician, and social activist. He started his career as a child actor and came to wide attention for his portrayal of Commodus in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as well as nominations for the Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild, Satellite Award, and BAFTA Award.

He received wider recognition for his portrayal of musician Johnny Cash in the 2005 biographical film Walk the Line. His performance earned him several accolades and nominations, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA Award. He received his third Academy Award nomination for his critically acclaimed performance in the 2012 film The Master as well as his third nomination for a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award. In 2013, he received his fourth nomination for the Golden Globe Award in the category Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his role as Theodore Twombly in Spike Jonze's film Her.

Aside from his acting career, he has also ventured into directing music videos, as well as producing films and television shows. He has recorded an album, the soundtrack to Walk the Line, for which he won a Grammy Award.

Early life[edit]

Phoenix was born Joaquín Rafael Bottom in Río Piedras, the sector city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to parents from the U.S. mainland. He is the third of five children, including River (1970–1993), Rain (1972–), Liberty (1976–), and Summer (1978–). He also has a half-sister named Jodean (1964–) from a previous relationship of his father's.[2]

Phoenix's father, John Lee Bottom, originally from Fontana, California, was a lapsed Catholic[3] of English, as well as German and French, ancestry.[4][5] Phoenix's mother, Arlyn (née Dunetz), was born in The Bronx, New York, to Jewish parents whose families emigrated from Russia and Hungary.[3] Arlyn left her family in 1968 and moved to California, later meeting Phoenix's father while hitchhiking. They married in 1969, then later joined the religious group, the Children of God, and began traveling throughout South America.[4] His parents eventually became disenchanted with the Children of God; they made the decision to leave the group and returned to the U.S. in 1978. They changed their last name to "Phoenix" to symbolize a new beginning. This also was around the time Joaquin began calling himself Leaf, desiring to have a nature-related name like his siblings, and inspired by spending time outdoors raking leaves with his father. (In a Jay Leno interview, Joaquin said he had originally called himself Antleaf as a child, it is unclear if he was being serious.)[6] Leaf became the name he used as a child actor, until at age 15 he changed it back to Joaquin.[7]

In order to provide food and financial support for the family, the children performed on the streets and at various talent contests, singing and playing instruments.[8] In Los Angeles, his mother started working as a secretary for NBC, and his father worked as a landscaper. Phoenix and his siblings were eventually discovered by one of Hollywood's leading children's agents, Iris Burton, who got the five children acting work, mainly doing commercials and television show appearances.[9] Joaquin went on to establish himself as a child actor before deciding to withdraw from acting for a while and travel to Mexico and South America with his father.[8]

In October 1993, his brother River suffered a fatal drug overdose. Joaquin's call to 911 seeking help for his brother was repeatedly played on radio and television.[10] In response, he retreated from the public eye for about a year.

Career[edit]

Acting[edit]

Phoenix's first acting jobs were guest appearances on two television shows with his brother River in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982), and Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia (1984) as well as an episode, "We're Off to Kill the Wizard" in Murder, She Wrote with his sister Summer. In 1985, he appeared with JoBeth Williams in the CBS television movie Kids Don't Tell. After his film debut in SpaceCamp (1986) as Max and starred in an Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "A Very Happy Ending" the same year, Phoenix first starring role was in Russkies (1987) and co-starred in Ron Howard's Parenthood (1989), in which he was credited as Leaf Phoenix.

During the comeback portion of his career, Phoenix went back to his given name "Joaquin," and was often cast in supporting roles as conflicted, insecure characters with a dark side. He has earned positive reviews for his portrayals of various individuals: a troubled teen in Gus Van Sant's To Die For (1995) co-starring with Nicole Kidman, a small-town troublemaker in Oliver Stone's U Turn, a poor man in love with a rich girl in Inventing the Abbotts (1997), the cruel Roman emperor Commodus in Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000) in which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a conflicted priest in Quills (2000), a washed-up baseball player in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs (2002), the irresolute husband of a superstar-skater in It's All About Love (2003), the voice of Kenai in the Disney animated film, Brother Bear, a lovestruck farmer in Shyamalan's The Village (2004), a disillusioned cameraman in Terry George's Hotel Rwanda (2004), and an heroic firefighter in Ladder 49 (2004).[11]

Phoenix was cast in Walk the Line, a Johnny Cash biopic, after Cash himself approved of him. Reese Witherspoon, who portrayed June Carter Cash in the film and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance,[12] stated during an interview that when they first performed in-character before a live audience, she was so impressed with his impersonation that she knew she "had to step it up a notch." All of Cash and Carter's vocal tracks in the movie and on the accompanying soundtrack are played and sung by Phoenix and Witherspoon. In 2005, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor,[12] and won a Golden Globe in the same category. In 2006, Phoenix was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[13]

Phoenix's film I'm Still Here debuted at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. He subsequently took a self-imposed break from acting and returned in Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master in 2012.[14] The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Phoenix won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, shared with co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman[15] and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.[16] Phoenix had the lead role in Spike Jonze's critically acclaimed film Her that premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 12, 2013. Phoenix will reunite with director Paul Thomas Anderson in the first ever adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon book, Inherent Vice. The film is set to be released on December 12, 2014 and will also feature Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin. Phoenix signed on to co-star in Woody Allen's latest, as-yet untitled film with Emma Stone, which began production in July 2014.[17]

Directing[edit]

He has directed music videos for the following acts: Ringside,[18] She Wants Revenge,[19] People in Planes,[20] Arckid,[21] Albert Hammond Jr.,[22] and Silversun Pickups.[23]

Producing[edit]

Phoenix served as one of the executive producers of a television show called 4Real, a half-hour series which showcase celebrity guests on global adventures "in order to connect with young leaders who are creating social and economic change."[24] He is also listed as a producer on the movie We Own the Night. In music, he was said to have produced the opening track for Pusha T's My Name Is My Name album alongside Kanye West. The track is called "King Push". Phoenix then denied having produced the record saying “While it was widely reported that Pusha T used my beat and that I produced his song, I can’t take any credit,” Phoenix said in a statement to XXL. ”A friend’s son played me his music, and all I did was make an introduction to Kanye [West]’s camp.”.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In early April 2005, Phoenix checked into rehab to be treated for alcoholism.[26] On January 26, 2006, while driving down a winding canyon road in Hollywood, Phoenix ran off the road and rolled his car. The crash was reportedly caused by brake failure. Shaken and confused, Phoenix heard a tapping on his window and a voice say, "Just relax." Unable to see the man, Phoenix replied, "I'm fine. I am relaxed." The man replied, "No, you're not," and stopped Phoenix from lighting a cigarette while gas was leaking into the car cabin. Phoenix then realized that the man was famed German film director Werner Herzog. While Herzog helped Phoenix out of the wreckage by breaking the back window of the car, bystanders phoned for an ambulance. Phoenix approached Herzog to express gratitude, but Herzog downplayed his heroism and returned to his home nearby.[27][28]

Phoenix unexpectedly announced in late 2008 that he had retired from acting to pursue a rapping career, and that the forthcoming Two Lovers would be his last film. On February 11, 2009, Phoenix appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to promote Two Lovers. He seemed incoherent and was largely unresponsive towards David Letterman's questions about the film and his career plans.[29][30][31] Phoenix appeared on Late Show again on September 22, 2010 and revealed that his "retirement" and eccentric behaviour were for a mockumentary, I'm Still Here (2010), that he and Casey Affleck were filming.

In October 2012, Phoenix proclaimed the Academy Awards to be "bullshit". He later gave an interview amending his earlier comments and acknowledging that the Oscars provide an important platform for many deserving filmmakers.[32]

Social activism[edit]

Phoenix has long been a social activist, lending his support to a number of charities and humanitarian organizations, notably Amnesty International,[33] The Art of Elysium, HEART, and the Peace Alliance (which campaigns for a United States Department of Peace).[34] Phoenix is also on the board of directors for The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides daily meals to students of township schools in Soweto of South Africa.

Phoenix is a vegan; he is a member of In Defense of Animals and PETA and has actively campaigned for both.[34][35] In 2013 he starred in a PETA short film that promoted veganism, showing Phoenix 'drowning' as he narrates, "In water, humans drown just as fish suffocate on land. Put yourself in their place. Try to relate." ABC refused to air the film during the Academy Awards broadcast, citing the ad's controversial nature.[36] For Nation Earth he narrated Earthlings, a video about the investigation of animal abuse in factory farms, pet mills, industry and research. In 2005 he was awarded the Humanitarian Award at the San Diego Film Festival for his work and contribution to Earthlings.[37]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1986 SpaceCamp Max Graham
1987 Russkies Danny
1989 Parenthood Garry Buckman Nominated — Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture
1995 To Die For Jimmy Emmett
1997 U Turn Toby N. Tucker
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Doug Holt
1998 Clay Pigeons Clay Bidwell
1998 Return to Paradise Lewis McBride Nominated — Csapnivalo Award for Best Male Performance
1999 8mm Max California
2000 The Yards Willie Gutierrez Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
2000 Quills Abbé de Coulmier Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Nominated — Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2000 Gladiator Commodus Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Villain — Action
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society - Body of Work Award
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Line from a Movie (For "It vexes me, I am terribly vexed!")
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2001 Buffalo Soldiers Ray Elwood Nominated — British Independent Film Award
2002 Signs Merrill Hess
2003 It's All About Love John
2003 Brother Bear Kenai Voice
2004 Ladder 49 Jack Morrison Nominated — Movie Guide Award for Most Inspiring Movie Acting
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Movie Actor: Drama
2004 The Village Lucius Hunt
2004 Hotel Rwanda Jack Daglish Nominated— Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2005 Walk the Line Johnny Cash Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2007 We Own the Night Bobby Green Producer
People's Choice Award for Favorite Leading Man
2007 Reservation Road Ethan Learner
2008 Two Lovers Leonard Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
2010 I'm Still Here Himself
2012 The Master Freddie Quell[38] Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Vancouver Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Village Voice Film Poll - Best Actor
Venice Film Festival - Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — AACTA International Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Houston Film Critics Society for Best Actor
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2013 Her Theodore Twombly[39] Nominated — Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (2nd Place)
Nominated — Gold Derby Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — International Cinephile Society Award for Best Actor (2nd Place)
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2013 The Immigrant Bruno Weiss Newport Beach Film Festival Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - Ensemble Cast (shared with Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner)
2014 Inherent Vice Doc Sportello Post-production
2015 Untitled Woody Allen project Filming

Television[edit]

Television shows
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Travis Episode: "Christmas Song"
1983 Mr. Smith Episode: "Mr. Smith Goes Public"
1984 Murder, She Wrote Billy Donovan Episode: "We're Off to Kill the Wizard"
1984 ABC Afterschool Special Robby Ellsworth Episode: "Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia"
Nominated — Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Family Film Made for Television (shared with River Phoenix)
1984 The Fall Guy Kid Episode: "Terror U"
1984 Hill Street Blues Daniel Flowers Episode: The Rise and Fall of Paul the Wall
1985 Kids Don't Tell Frankie Movie
1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Pagey Fisher Episode: "A Very Happy Ending"
1989 Still the Beaver Kyle Cleaver Episode: "Still the New Leave It to Beaver"
1989 Superboy Billy Hercules Episode: "Little Hercules"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Contemporary theatre, film, and television, Gale Research Co., 2002, p. 213, ISBN 978-0-7876-6360-5 
  2. ^ "The Phoenix Family". Sacred Loving Stream. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  3. ^ a b Naomi Pfefferman (2002-04-12). "The Days of Summer". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  4. ^ a b Roberta and David Ritz (October 1995). "Strange Days". Us Magazine. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  5. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001618/bio
  6. ^ Phoenix, Joaquin. "Joaquin Phoenix Interview". Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Paul Fischer (2000). "Gladiator". Dark Horizons. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Joaquin Phoenix- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ Mary Rourke (2008). "Iris Burton, 77; Hollywood agent represented child actors". LA Times. Archived from the original on April 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  10. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix 911 Call - River Phoenix - Viper Room". Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Joaquin Phoenix at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ a b "Oscars 2006 - Academy Award Winners, Nominees, Movies Released in 2005". Movies.about.com. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  13. ^ Academy Invites 120 to Membership[dead link]
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike (May 9, 2011). "Harvey Weinstein Buys World Rights To Paul Thomas Anderson's Untitled Next Film". Deadline. Mail.com Media Corporation. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  15. ^ Waxman, Sharon (September 8, 2012). "‘Pieta,’ ‘The Master’ Win Top Venice Prizes - Jury Shifts Votes". The Wrap. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Oscar 2013: The nominations revealed...". Entertainment Weekly. January 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ Entertainment Weekly. May 2, 2014 http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/05/02/joaquin-phoenix-woody-allen/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Tired of Feeling Sorry". Ringside. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  19. ^ "Tear You Apart". She Wants Revenge. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  20. ^ "If you Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)". People In Planes. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  21. ^ "I'll Stick Around". Arckid. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  22. ^ "In Transit". Albert Hammond Jr. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  23. ^ "Little Lovers so Polite". Silversun Pickups. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  24. ^ "4 Real". Direct Current Media. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  25. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.25638/joaquin-phoenix-denies-producing-pusha-t-s-king-push-
  26. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix Checks Into Rehab". CBS News. 2005-04-13. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  27. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix Rescued from Car Crash by Director Werner Herzog". Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  28. ^ Interview of Herzog about Phoenix incident on YouTube[dead link]
  29. ^ Thomson, Katherine. (2009-2-11), Phoenix's Bizarre Letterman Appearance: (VIDEO), The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-2-11.
  30. ^ Ryan, Maureen. (2009-2-11),Weird star alert: Joaquin Phoenix mystifies David Letterman, Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-2-12.
  31. ^ Goodlett, Matt. (2009-2-13),Joaquin Phoenix and David Letterman Get Awkward, Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2009-2-15.
  32. ^ Husam Sam Asi (October 27, 2012). "Joaquin Phoenix: Actors don’t deserve credit for their performance". ukscreen.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  33. ^ "End The Crisis In Darfur". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2007-08-22. [dead link]
  34. ^ a b "Joaquin Phoenix's Charity Work". Look To The Stars. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  35. ^ "Fake leather please!". Daily News and Analysis. 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  36. ^ Chidera Monde, "Joaquin Phoenix 'Drowns' in Provacative PETA Ad Supporting Veganism," New York Daily News, 14 February 2013.
  37. ^ "I Saw Earthlings.com Cast and Crew". Isawearthlings.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  38. ^ Cieply, Michael (2012-04-18). "Paul Thomas Anderson Film May Be About Scientology". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  39. ^ Han, Angie (August 31). "Spike Jonze’s Movie With Joaquin Phoenix Gets New Title, Official Synopsis". slashfilm.com. Retrieved August 31. 

External links[edit]