Joaquin Phoenix thanks Hollywood for giving him ‘second chance’ in Oscars speech

Joaquin Phoenix thanked Hollywood for giving him a “second chance” as he accepted the Best Actor prize at the 2020 Oscars.The 45-year-old took to the stage on Sunday to accept the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Todd Phillips’ com…

Joaquin Phoenix thanked Hollywood for giving him a “second chance” as he accepted the Best Actor prize at the 2020 Oscars.

The 45-year-old took to the stage on Sunday to accept the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Todd Phillips’ comic book thriller Joker, and candidly spoke directly to those who were affected by his bad behaviour over the years.

“I have been a scoundrel in my life,” a visibly emotional Joaquin told the star-studded audience. “I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times. Hard to work with. And I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.

“I think that’s when we’re at our best – when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other for past mistakes. When we help each other to grow. When we educate each other. When we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.”

Joaquin also took the opportunity to urge fellow celebrities and viewers around the world to come together and join the “fight against injustice”.

“I think, whether we’re talking about gender and equality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice,” he explained, noting that he was using his platform to give a “voice to the voiceless”.

Joaquin concluded his passionate speech with a song lyric written by his late brother River Phoenix, who tragically died at the age of 23 in 1993.

“When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. He said: ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow,'” he said, as the audience gave him a standing ovation.

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Jerry O’Connell’s dad convinced him Stand By Me would never be a hit

Jerry O’Connell feared his breakout movie Stand by Me would be a huge flop when he watched it in an empty cinema with his grandparents.The actor had the time of his life on the set of director Rob Reiner’s 1986 film when he was 11, but his dad felt sur…

Jerry O’Connell feared his breakout movie Stand by Me would be a huge flop when he watched it in an empty cinema with his grandparents.

The actor had the time of his life on the set of director Rob Reiner’s 1986 film when he was 11, but his dad felt sure the project would never see the light of day and urged young Jerry not to tell school pals about it when he returned to New York from the summer shoot in Oregon.

And his father appeared to be right when Stand by Me eventually hit theatres the following summer.

“I was going into seventh grade in the New York City public school system and my dad said, ‘Don’t go around telling people you’re in a movie because when it doesn’t come out…,'” O’Connell recalled during a recent 92nd Street Y event in the Big Apple. “I literally forgot about it.

“They released it the following summer to seven theatres in the country… and I went with my grandparents to the noon matinee and it was empty, which wasn’t a very good sign.”

But things started looking up for the young star as he was leaving.

“The lady who sold us our tickets said, ‘Hey, hold on a second. Were you in that movie? Movie stars don’t have to pay,’ and she gave us our money back,” the 45-year-old remembered. “She stopped me before I left and said, ‘Hey, I see a lot of movies and that’s gonna be a big movie.'”

O’Connell still has great memories of the summer he spent with Reiner and castmates River Phoenix and Corey Feldman too, adding, “I had been called hyperactive and heard Ritalin thrown around at parent/teacher conferences: ‘He’s disruptive and speaks without raising his hand.’ I couldn’t control it and all of that behaviour was encouraged by Rob Reiner. It was the most freeing place at the age of 11. I felt like me.”

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Joaquin Phoenix credits late brother River for acting career during acceptance speech

Joaquin Phoenix thanked his late brother River Phoenix for giving him a push to get back into acting during an emotional acceptance speech on Monday.The Oscar-nominated star gave an emotional speech as he was presented with the Tribute Actor Award at t…

Joaquin Phoenix thanked his late brother River Phoenix for giving him a push to get back into acting during an emotional acceptance speech on Monday.

The Oscar-nominated star gave an emotional speech as he was presented with the Tribute Actor Award at the Toronto International Film Festival Tribute Gala on Monday for his role in Todd Phillips’ Joker.

And he told the star-studded audience that his success was all thanks to his older brother, who tragically died at the age of 23 in 1993.

“When I was 15 or 16 my brother River 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,'” Joaquin shared.

“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.”

While he thanked a number of people, including his sisters Rain, Liberty and Summer, Joaquin finished his emotional speech with an apparent reference his rumoured fiancee Rooney Mara, who starred in 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

“One last thing – somewhere here, I don’t know where, is a filthy dragon, and I want to rip its wings off and fasten a blanket and sleep with it forever. I love you. Thank you,” he said.

Following the premiere of Joker at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, Joaquin and filmmaker Todd took part in a Q&A panel, where the 44-year-old discussed playing the disturbed Arthur Fleck, who eventually becomes the legendary DC Comics villain.

“I mean honestly, it wasn’t an easy decision at first. But then there was something that was drawing me toward it… It started becoming something more than I anticipated. It was one of the greatest experiences of my career,” he shared.

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