In 2009, Phoenix said he was retiring to focus on his rap music, leaving fans to wonder exactly what the future held for the performer.
As the son of the missionaries for the Children of God spiritual group, Phoenix moved often with his family during his early life. After John left the group, the family took the brand new surname Phoenix, that was emblematic of their new life.
Moving to Los Angeles around age four, Joaquin and his sibs—older brother River, older sister Rain, and younger sisters Independence and Summer—shortly attempted to make their way in Hollywood. The Phoenix kids already enjoyed to put on shows for every other before their mom discovered an agent to represent them. “We all used to sing and play music, and we were all quite outgoing. My parents always supported us to express ourselves. And so it looked like second nature to begin playing,” Phoenix described to Interview magazine.
The primary breakout star was River, who got a part on the short lived television series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which aired from 1982 to 1983. Seven even appeared with River within an ABC Afterschool Special about dyslexia; the two played brothers. At that time, Joaquin was using the name Leaf, which he’d selected for himself when he was six years of age. Himself returned to using his birth name throughout age 16.
Making his film debut in 1986, Phoenix had a supporting part as a wannabe astronaut in the children adventure movie SpaceCamp. Himself also tried his hand at primetime play with Morningstar/Eveningstar, a narrative of displaced kids who find shelter in a facility for senior citizens. However , this assembly of the young and old just lasted a couple of episodes before being canceled.
Unexpectedly, among his biggest breaks came when Phoenix left Hollywood. He’d moved to Florida, when he got a part in the Ron Howard-directed comedy Parenthood (1989). Next success Phoenix, who had been then just 15 years old, chose to set his career on hold to travel by himself through Latin America. While himself avoided Hollywood, his brother River stood in the limelight, becoming among the leading young performers at that time.
In 1993, disaster pushed Phoenix back to the public eye. Himself was with his renowned brother, River, partying in the Viper Room club. Outside the nightclub, River fell and started having convulsions. Their attempts failed, yet, and River was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead in the wee hours of October 31. Afterwards, Joaquin’s anguished 911 call was played and replayed by the media, just compounding his sadness.
A tide of movies shortly followed. In the intimate drama Inventing the Abbotts (1997), he was matched up on screen with Liv Tyler. Phoenix worked with director Oliver Stone about the neo noir thriller U Turn (1997). Despite having a solid cast, which included Sean Penn and Claire Danes, the movie was a box office dud. Vince Vaughn and David Conrad costar as his two buddies who must choose whether to return there and help redress the problem by recognizing their parts in the offense.
In 2000, Phoenix almost stole the Roman epic Gladiator from its star Russell Crowe along with his turn as the perverted, covetous emperor Commodus. His work in this summer hit, directed by Ridley Scott, netted him nominations for a lot of the acting field’s most prestigious awards, including his first Academy Award nod. The exact same year, Phoenix continued to exhibit his range as a performer, playing a clever operator in The Yards (2000) opposite Mark Wahlberg. Himself handled another historic narrative, this one set in 18th century France.
He took the lead for his next cooperation with Shyamalan, The Village (2004), playing a young man who sets his little community in danger by investigating the mysterious woods that encircle his town. With now, Phoenix had become known for his inclination to immerse himself fully in the lives of his characters. “He is acting on another plane. He is nearly superhuman,” co star Bryce Dallas Howard told The Record.
But Phoenix outdid himself in his next important character, experiencing even more substantial training to play one of country music’s finest stars, Johnny Cash, in Walk the Line (2005). Phoenix needed to learn how to sing and play the guitar like Cash for the part, which took almost six months of lessons in the movie ‘s executive music producer, T-Bone Burnett. Himself’sstar, Reese Witherspoon, went through her own extensive musical training to sing like June Carter Cash, Johnny’s wife.
“I am embarrassed about it now. Nevertheless, as soon as I heard “Joaquin” it simply did not feel appropriate” Phoenix described to Entertainment Weekly. All the hard work paid off. Widely praised by critics, the movie and its own stars netted numerous nominations and awards.
Bringing the difficult-living Cash to the big screen took its toll on the young performer. After filming finished, Phoenix went into rehabilitation for problems associated with booze. “There was a lot made of my going to rehabilitation, also it looks quite remarkable, but it had been not like that,” Phoenix told Time magazine. “Himself only became conscious of my drinking as something to relax when I do not work. Himself essentially visited a country club where they did not serve booze.”
Himself also had a leading part in 2009’s James Gray’s independent play Two Lovers with Gwyneth Paltrow.
In February 2009, Phoenix made headlines along with his odd appearance on David Letterman’s Late Show, leading fans to wonder regarding the performer’s mental state. The interview, filled with awkward pauses and low mumbling, supported Letterman to make several jokes concerning the performer’s seeming dearth of knowledge. Some have proposed this latest episode proved to be a calculated stunt on Phoenix’s component, but the performer says his conduct is not a joke. “I’ve better things you can do than merely, like, (wreck) around with folks,” he said. “It is my life and it is my work.”
Around this same time Phoenix declared his retirement from playing and revealed plans to release a rap record. Enthusiasts supposed that this, also, was a publicity stunt, but the performer claimed he had serious hopes for his new profession. A viral video of Phoenix performing in Las Vegas started circulating across the internet but the inferior caliber of the clip just appeared to reinforce the theory that Phoenix was performing an elaborate joke on his supporters. His choice to be a hip hop artist was later chronicled in the 2010’s so called documentary I am Still Here, which he made with Casey Affleck. Shortly after its release, Affleck confessed to The New York Times the documentary was a work of fiction.
Phoenix eventually chose to step before the cameras again, receiving remarkable results. The Master (2012), his first picture after his self imposed hiatus, showed picture crowds just how gifted a performer he’s. In the movie, he plays a youthful, alcoholic war veteran, Freddie Quell, who’s enticed into a quasi religious cult headed by magnetic Lancester Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Composed and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the movie has received extensive praise. Some say that Dodd’s organization relies on the Church of Scientology.
Continuing to get fascinating new jobs, Phoenix worked with director Spike Jonze on the’s with Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara.
Outside of playing, Phoenix supports numerous causes. Himself serves on the board of the Lunchbox Fund, which provides wholesome meals to kids in demand. A lifelong vegan, Phoenix has served as a representative for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a number of years. He’s been active in the Peace Alliance, which attempts to create “a cabinet-grade U.S. Department of Peace” according to its Web site.