In light of the third season of House of Cards
We all know Joaquin Phoenix is a strange bird, ever since that fake documentary and crazy beard nonsense from a few years ago. The thing is, Phoenix has been an unusual character all his life. With Inherent Vice hitting theaters this weekend, it seemed like a good time to take a look at some of his quirkiness, his talent, and his unusual life. Here are a few examples…
1. Joaquin is a strict Vegan, so much so that any of his costumes and props cannot be made from leather or any animal material. He once refused to wear shoes during a photo shoot for Prada because they were made out of leather.
2. He resides in New York City, in the same apartment building as best friend Casey Affleck and sister Summer Phoenix (who are married to each other) and director Gus Van Sant.
3. This one is cool: Phoenix was in a car accident in January 2006 on a winding canyon road that flipped his car over. 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”. Then managed to see that the man was famed eccentric German auteur Werner Herzog, and Herzog replied, ‘No, you’re not’. After helping Phoenix out of the wreckage, Herzog phoned in an ambulance and vanished.
4. He announced his retirement from acting in October 2008 and claimed he wanted to pursue a career as a rapper. This announcement was followed by several bizarre appearances and musical performances by Phoenix, which made the shocked public wonder whether it was all just an act or if his behavior was for real. His retirement from acting and his “career” as a rapper turned out to be a hoax, which was part of his movie I’m Still Here in 2010.
5. Joaquin and his brother River both played the son of actor Richard Harris. Joaquin in Gladiator and River in Silent Tongue.
6. Prior to his hiatus from acting, Phoenix was billed as “Leaf Phoenix.” It’s rumored that he was influenced by his older siblings, River and Rain, to have a nature-related name. He is credited as Leaf Phoenix in the opening titles of Parenthood.
7. The scar on his lip is not from surgery to repair a cleft palette, but a birthmark.
8. As part of research for his role in the 2004 film Ladder 49, he actually graduated from the Baltimore Fire Academy and spent a month living and working with real firefighters and helping fight real fires.
9. He has three Oscar nominations since 2001, one for Gladiator, one for Walk The Line, and his most recent one for The Master. He has yet to win.
10. Phoenix sang all the songs himself when portraying Johnny Cash in Walk The Line.
11. He was the one who dialed 911 to call an ambulance for his brother, River Phoenix, after he collapsed outside Johnny Depp’s nightclub “The Viper Room” in 1993. River passed away that night.