THE GLORIOUS DAYS OF JOAQUIN PHOENIX
Joaquin Phoenix has many reasons to laugh. After winning the award for Best Leading Actor at the Golden Globes and the Sag Awards for his outstanding performance as the Joker, the American actor unsurprisingly won the same prize at the Oscars 2020, that took place in Los Angeles, on February 9th. Phoenix had been nominated for the Academy Awards three times before (“Gladiator”, “Walk the Line”, “The Master”) and Joker, his fourth nomination, finally gave him the statue.
The Todd Phillips’s psychological thriller was nominated for 11 categories at the Oscars 2020: Best Picture, Best Director (Phillips), Best Actor (Phoenix), Best adapted screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Best MakeUp and Hairstyling, Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. It won 2 of them.
Joker was released in October last year and has become a major box office success, grossing over U$1 billion since then and becoming the first R-rated film to do so. During its opening weekend, the film grossed around U$90 million breaking Warner Bros record since the release of Wonder Woman.
At 45 years old, Joaquin Phoenix has been in almost 40 films. His first time on screen was in 1982, in a small role at the TV Series “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, starred by his brother River Phoenix, who tragically suffered an overdose and died in 1993.
Joaquin Phoenix received wider attention for his portrayal of Commodus in Gladiator (2000), which gave him his first Oscar nomination. His performance in Hotel Rwanda (2004), Walk the Line (2005) and Her (2013) were also acclaimed by critics and audience. However, it was his portrayal of Arthur Fleck, the mentally ill man who becomes Joker – Batman’s main enemy – that gave him more projection. As a movie based on a comic, Joker has received the highest number of nominations for the Academy Awards ever.
Alongside his acting career, Phoenix has directed a few music videos and produced some films and TV shows. And he has also showed his talent as a singer – his great performance as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line included singing some of Cash’s most famous songs.
Phoenix has long been a social activist giving support to several charities and humanitarian organizations. The actor is also widely known for his animal rights work, collaborating to spread awareness about animal rights and promoting veganism. He is a vegan since he was 3 years old and has refused to wear leather shoes for a Prada campaign or any clothes made out of animal skin or leather. In his films, he requests costumes made from synthetic materials only.
On January 10th, just five days after receiving the Golden Globe award for Best Leading Actor, Phoenix was among a group of more than a hundred activists arrested by the American police during the Fire Drill Fridays, demonstration organized by Jane Fonda in Washington D.C., to protest against the climate changes. The demonstrators refused to leave the entrance of the Capitol, home of the United States Congress, where the protest happened.
At the Capitol, Phoenix reassured his Golden Globe speech about the impact of meat and dairy production over climate changes. “Sometimes we wonder what we can do in this fight against climate change and there’s something that you can do today and tomorrow, by making a choice about what you consume.”