Joaquin Phoenix is opening up about the death of his older brother River.
The 45-year-old Oscar-nominated actor sat down with Anderson Cooper for a rare interview on 60 Minutes where he talked about his brother’s death back in 1993.
“We were so removed from the entertainment world. We didn’t watch entertainment shows. We didn’t have the entertainment magazines in our house,” Joaquin shared. “You know, River was a really substantial actor and movie star and we didn’t really know it.”
River was only 23-years-old when he died of a drug overdose outside of The Viper Room in 1993. Joaquin, who was only 19 at the time, was at the club with his brother that night.
“During that time in which you’re most vulnerable, there are helicopters flying over, there are people that are trying to sneak onto your land,” Joaquin added. “Certainly, for me it felt like it impeded on the mourning process.”
Joaquin then went on to say that his brother’s death has impacted all of the movies he’s made since his passing.
“I feel like in virtually every movie that I made, there was a connection to River in some way,” Joaquin said. “And I think that we’ve all felt his presence and guidance in our lives in numerous ways.”
“I think it just… awakened something in me. And I could suddenly see it through his eyes,” Joaquin continued. “There’s a part in Raging Bull where [Robert] De Niro meets a girl in between a chain-link fence. And he, you know, shakes her pinky and it’s like this just beautiful little detail, it’s this wonderful moment. And I think that in some ways is what I’m always looking for.”
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