Home Celebrities 31 Awe-Inspiring Facts About Joaquin Phoenix That Will Blow Your Mind

31 Awe-Inspiring Facts About Joaquin Phoenix That Will Blow Your Mind


Every Joaquin Phoenix fan would surely agree that there are just a few stories of eccentric actors, to match his plethora of crazy stories. Especially his little hoax about becoming a rapper, for his movie “I’m Still Here,” took Hollywood for a ride. In the decades of his career, he has been through the most devastating of losses of life, as well as extraordinary accomplishments. Here are some interesting tidbits about the actor’s quirky life:

  1. In preparation for his role as “Joker,” he reportedly did extensive research on different types of personality disorders. He wanted his version of Joker to be extremely complex, that even experienced psychiatrists will not be able to identify.
  2. He even added that, he as well as the filmmakers was discovering new aspects of the Joker, and the character’s personality, even on the very last day of shooting. It was reported that they never consulted any past portrayals of Joker, including the Oscar winning performance of Heath Ledger.
  3. While filming “The Master,” director Paul Thomas Anderson noticed in the first few days of shooting that Phoenix has a tendency to use the whole space even outside the marks, no matter where they were filming. So, he instructed the lightning crew to be ready to follow the actor with camera, if required.
  4. For the movie “Walk the Line,” he and his co-star Reese Witherspoon, learned to play musical instruments like guitar, auto-harp, from the scratch and also performed all their songs, by themselves, without being dubbed.
  5. His character Commodus’s scream of “Am I not merciful,” was actually improvised on spot by Phoenix, and his co-star Connie Nielsen’s frightened reaction was genuine as she was not expecting it.
  6. He claimed that perfecting his character Arthur Fleck / Joker’s laugh, for the movie “Joker” was the toughest part. He added that he based the laugh on “videos of people suffering from pathological laughter.”
  7. In preparation for his role of Abe Lucas in “Irrational Man,” his first venture with Woody Allen, he reportedly gained 33 pounds, eating lot of junk foods.
  8. In the 1970’s, his parents reportedly escaped from the infamous Children of God cult. They also changed their last name from “Bottom” to “Phoenix” which symbolizes new beginnings.
  9. He was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom, but decided that he wanted more of earthly name like his elder siblings when he was four years old, and took on the name as Leaf Phoenix.
  10. In fact, in the initial days of his career, he was credited as Leaf Phoenix in most of his works. It was not until the early 1990s that he decided to have his birth name of Joaquin back, and since then, he has been credited as Joaquin Phoenix. He also goes by the nicknames of Kitten, Joaq and Leaf.
  11. He reportedly lost 52 lb of weight for his award winning role of Arthur Fleck in the 2019 movie “Joker.” Talking about the weight loss, he claimed that the weight loss led to kind of physical fluidity, which helped in some of the major movements in the movie, that can be a important part of the character.
  12. During the filming of “Walk the Line” he reportedly developed a very co-dependent relationship with his co-star Reese Witherspoon to the extent that they had formed a secret pact in which if one of them dropped out of the project, the other will also leave.
  13. But, this friendship was not until the filming started, as for six months before the production. During their signing lessons, they did not get along and kept arguing over very small issues.
  14. It was reported that director Ridley Scott of “Gladiator,” noticed that he was gaining weight during the filming period, and discussed about it with line producer.
  15. The very next day, Joaquin went to Scott, and told him that he thought it to be the right thing to do as he is the Emperor of Rome. However, he stopped eating unnecessary carbs for weeks after that.
  16. He is said to have played the “I’m Still Here” variation of himself for a period of two full years. This is considered to be one of his greatest, most sustained performances, by some critics.
  17. The famous scene from “Walk the Line,” in which his character Johnny Cash performs “I Got Strpies,” was actually improvised by Phoenix, as he was asked by director James Mangold to do what he would do in real life at such a circumstance.
  18. However, he was surprised when his plan backfired and his co-star Reese Witherspoon just rolled her eyes as a response, and continued performing the song.
  19. During the filming of “Gladiator,” he was reportedly very nervous on set, and ended up asking his co-star Russell Crowe to roughen him up. Crowe discussed with Sir Richard Harris, and both the actors spent several hours to help him relax.
  20. He claimed that he accepted the offer to play the role of Joker, only because he was not sure how he really felt about the character and that he was very curious. He added that when all the questions are answered, the role becomes boring, but the character of Joker, kept him guessing always.
  21. It was reported that he received the screenplay of “Walk the Line,” on a Friday. He contacted director James Mangold asking him what he needs to do to portray Johnny Cash, on Monday morning. When Mangold asked him to buy a guitar and take lessons, he got himself a guitar on Tuesday.
  22. During the filming of “Gladiator,” he was so involved with his character of Commodus that he even had a sword in his hotel room. In fact, after filming the scene in which Commodus murders his father, he actually fainted.
  23. In the famous jail cell scene from “The Master,” he actually broke a real toilet. The entire scene was improvised by him, though he had no intentions of breaking the toilet, nor did he think it to be possible.
  24. He has a scar on his upper lip, which is now kind of a trademark for him. There are numerous stories about the scar being a result of a repaired cleft lip, but none of it is true. The said scar is actually his birth mark.
  25. His character Joker’s famous quirky dance moves in “Joker,” were actually influenced by Ray Bolger. Phoenix claimed that Bolger has an odd arrogance to him, which was probably the greatest influence.
  26. Before the filming of “Walk the Line,” Phoenix learned to sing and play, just like the real Johnny Cash. However, his voice was too high, due to which the band practiced to play in higher key.
  27. However, just as the filming commenced, Phoenix’s voice reportedly dropped pretty much closer to real Cash’s level, leading to the band re-learning all the songs in original key.
  28. In an effort to achieve the real effect of clenching his mouth and talking out of one side, for his character of Freddie Quell in “The Master,” he had his dentist attach metal plates to his teeth, which slightly cut up the inside of his cheek.
  29. His has four siblings – one brother River Phoenix, and three sisters – Rain Phoenix, Liberty Phoenix and Summer Phoenix. He and his brother River are the first brothers to be nominated for acting Academy Awards. He is often known to bring either his mother or any of his sisters, as his date to movie premieres and award shows.
  30. During the filming of “Joker,” he would sometimes loose his composure on the sets and in the middle of the scenes, walk away. But he always returned after taking a breather.
  31. Joaquin Phoenix Net Worth: $35 Million
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