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The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Joaquin Phoenix

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Dec 30, 2018

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The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Joaquin Phoenix
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  • The brilliance that award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix displays on camera is unparalleled,
  • but his private life is far less glamorous.
  • Even the best screenwriters couldn't capture the hardships and devastation the actor has
  • lived through.
  • This is his tragic real-life story.
  • "Think what you think about me, hate me or like me, just don't misunderstand me."
  • Growing up Phoenix
  • After spending his formative years in a cult, along with his family, Details reported Joaquin's
  • parents struggled to provide for their five children once they left the sect and moved
  • to LA.
  • Phoenix remembered a time when they lived in a one bedroom apartment that didn't allow
  • kids.
  • When the owner would stop by, he and his siblings would have to hide behind a laundry machine
  • for hours.
  • He told Esquire,
  • "I don't forget that.
  • It's f---ing crazy to me.
  • I'm just really, really fortunate.
  • Luck.
  • That's what it is."
  • He calls it luck, but some might say his hard work paid off.
  • In 2006, he purchased a $4.8 million pad in the Hollywood Hills.
  • And in 2013, he plopped down another $1.3 million to purchase his neighbor's house.
  • Not bad for a guy who once shared a one-bedroom apartment with his entire family.
  • A tragic loss
  • It was Joaquin's eldest brother, River, who emerged as the breakout star of the family.
  • River made a name for himself after appearing in 1986's Stand by Me and 1991's My Own Private
  • Idaho.
  • "I'd like to go someplace where nobody knows me."
  • It seemed River would seamlessly transition from child star into more mature roles, but
  • before he could realize his full potential, he died of a drug overdose outside of Hollywood's
  • Viper Room in 1993.
  • He was just 23 years old.
  • Grief-stricken, Joaquin took a two-year break from acting, per the Independent.
  • But despite putting on a brave face in the press, some suspect the loss of his brother
  • damaged Joaquin more than he would admit.
  • Rumors of a meltdown
  • When Phoenix was cast in 2005's Walk the Line, fans anticipated it would be the most successful
  • role of his entire career.
  • "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."
  • The movie required Phoenix to channel the troubled musician, who battled drug and alcohol
  • abuse.
  • Many suspected that River's death may have haunted him during a scene depicting the death
  • of Cash's own brother, but Phoenix denied reports of an on-set meltdown, telling Newsweek,
  • "You know, the press has kind of imposed upon me the title of Mourning Brother… and all
  • this s--- that's just not there.
  • I don't need to pull from my experience for a character."
  • But there were other signs pointing to a downward spiral.
  • "What's with the black?"
  • "Looks like you're going to a funeral."
  • "Maybe I am."
  • Spending time in rehab
  • It wasn't until after shooting wrapped, that Phoenix realized he had a problem.
  • He told Time Out magazine,
  • "It was then that I became aware of my drinking…
  • I was leaning on alcohol to make me feel okay."
  • He checked into a rehab facility in 2005, and following his stay, began attending Alcoholics
  • Anonymous meetings.
  • According to the New York Times, he later called the network,
  • "… the best thing I ever did."
  • His filming process
  • "I can't write, I can't breathe, couldn't remember the reason for living, and when I
  • did it wasn't convincing."
  • With a decades-long career in the film and television industry, you'd think Phoenix would
  • be as cool as a cucumber in front of the cameras.
  • But he told Interview magazine that he suffers from "incredible anxiety" claiming,
  • "They have to put f---ing pads in my armpits because I sweat so much…
  • For the first three weeks of shooting, I'm just sweating.
  • It's pure anxiety, and I love it."
  • His own worst critic
  • Phoenix has starred in some incredible films, including Gladiator, The Master, and Two Lovers.
  • He even snagged a 2006 Golden Globe for Walk the Line and a 2017 Cannes Film Festival best
  • actor award for You Were Never Really Here.
  • His reputation as a critically-acclaimed actor is well-deserved, but there's one person who's
  • not exactly a fan of his work, and that's Phoenix himself.
  • "You said, 'I hate the last movie I do so much that I feel that my next job is gonna
  • right a lot of wrongs.'"
  • "I think I did say that."
  • Phoenix told The New York Times,
  • "I don't watch myself…
  • I can be really affected by things like, 'Do I look good?'
  • 'Do I look bad?'
  • I want it to be what I'm feeling as opposed to something outside the experience."
  • Lonely at the top
  • Being a superstar who's surrounded by fame, fans, and the media sounds like a life to
  • be envied, but looks can be deceiving.
  • Phoenix has talked about the dangers of being in the spotlight and just how isolating a
  • career as an actor can truly be.
  • After wrapping Walk The Line, he told The Times,
  • "It was really hard for me to leave the movie.
  • I was angry and hurt and felt abandoned.
  • I didn't know what to do."
  • "Film is never gonna live up to the experience that I had, that I felt."
  • But Phoenix may have had a good reason for feeling an emptiness post-filming.
  • Walk The Line director, James Mangold, told the Times that Phoenix had completely embodied
  • his character for the film.
  • He remembered,
  • "I could shoot Joaquin from the back, and without seeing his face, you would be able
  • to tell what he was feeling.
  • He never impersonated Johnny Cash, he became him."

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Description

The brilliance that award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix displays on camera is unparalleled, but his private life is far less glamorous. Even the best screenwriters couldn't capture the hardships and devastation the actor has lived through. This is his tragic real-life story.

Growing up Phoenix | #
A tragic loss | #
Rumors of a meltdown | #
Spending time in rehab | #
His filming process | #
His own worst critic | #
Lonely at the top | #