Joaquin Phoenix, whose Joker is creating Oscar buzz, has said that his acting career would not have been possible without his late brother, River Phoenix.
Phoenix was one of the two actors to be presented with the TIFF Tribute Actor Award and he took his time on the stage to remember people who contributed to his career.
“When I was 15 or 16 my brother River (Phoenix) came home from work and he had a VHS copy of a movie called ‘Raging Bull’ and he sat me down and made me watch it. And the next day he woke me up, and he made me watch it again. And he said, ‘You’re going to start acting again, this is what you’re going to do’,” Phoenix said at the Toronto International Film Festival Tribute Gala.
“He didn’t ask me, he told me. And I am indebted to him for that because acting has given me such an incredible life,” the actor recalled in an emotional speech.
Phoenix made a surprise appearance on the stage in the middle of his introduction by Willem Dafoe.
The actor thanked his father, mother and sisters Rain, Liberty and Summer.
“I feel overwhelmed with emotion, because I’m just thinking about all the people that had such a profound influence on me. When I was watching those clips, I thought about my family. My sisters Rain and Liberty and Summer, who are still my best friends.
River, one of the promising stars in Hollywood and a teen idol, died of a drug overdose on the sidewalk outside a nightclub in Hollywood at the age of 23.
Some of his best works include films such as “Stand by Me”, “Running on Empty” and “My Own Private Idaho”.