5 Facts About 'Joker' Star Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix: 5 facts about the eccentric actor.
December 1, 2019 - 13:30 / Clemens Fanger

Joaquin Phoenix is the star of the new Joker movie and critics all over the world have been raving about his performance from day one. We have gathered five interesting facts about the eccentric actor!

The actor was born in Puerto Rico and has been a vegan since early childhood. He once told Collider in an interview that he still remembers what made him become a vegan: "Really it was seeing these fish being killed when I was on a boat as a kid. [...] I just had a profound strong reaction." Still today, he is a strong supporter of animal welfare.

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara
Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara at the premiere of Joker in Los Angeles, California, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix' parents were part of a religious movement

Until Joaquin moved to Los Angeles with his parents, his mother and father worked as missionaries for the religious movement Children of God. After they left Children of God, they changed their last name from Bottom to Phoenix - after the mystic bird that rises from its own ashes.

Joaquin has been present on the big screen much longer than many people realize. In the late 1980's, he played the role of "Max" in the movie Space Camp - it was his first major role in a feature. At that time, he was still going by a different first name: As a child, he called himself "Leaf".

The reason behind it is that all his siblings (River, Liberty, Rain, and Summer) have names with a certain connection to nature, but he did not. He started going by the name Joaquin at the age of 15.

Joaquin Phoenix on the red carpet at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

Joaquin Phoenix: Golden Globe for Walk the Line

In 2005, the actor played country legend Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. He sang all the songs in the movie himself. Phoenix won a Golden Globe for his performance and the original soundtrack from the movie won a Grammy Award.