Across The Way Thread #3825
joaquin thing... (r.i.p rio. i love you)
Created Byxokatyxo
Created DateWed, Nov 01, 2000
Created Time12:02AM GMT

xokatyxo11/1/2000 12:02:39 AM
Total Messages For This Thread: 1
AuthorMessage #2978
xokatyxoSubjectjoaquin thing... (r.i.p rio. i love you)
PostedWed, Nov 01, 2000 12:02AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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ahhhhh tis a sad day... i lit a candle for you
river... *sigh* i sat in a room today and thought of
how you said things to keanu reeves' scott beside the
campfire in my own private idaho... i thought of how
you made it so real and how much i felt it... one
candle doesn't seem enough of a tribute for someone
who gave me so much without ever even knowing me....

*sigh*..... ok girls and boys, enough sadness and
longing for now... hi everybody, i hope you're all
coping ok today... I typed up this article/interveiw
with Joaquin for you all to read... it pretty much
covers familiar ground but it's not bad all the same.
He talks about the rest of the Phoenix clan in it, and
there are a couple of interesting things I didn't
know... so, here you go: (it was in the Evening
Standard (English newspaper) magazine supplement.
Joaquin was on the cover of the 27 Oct-2nd Nov issue..
I couldn't help but wonder if they timed it like that
on purpose...)


After his breakthrough role as Commodus in Gladiator,
Joaquin Phoenix can sit back and wait for Hollywood to
come to him. (By Marianne Gray)

Joaquin Phoenix is sitting quietly, pale and
distanced. Not at all like the day on the set of 'The
Yards' when he and Mark Wahlberg thumped and slugged
each other half to death until director James Gray had
enough in the can for one of the screen's toughest
street fights. "I think our fighting really captured
the brutality of the street fight," says Phoenix in
his inaudibly soft voice, talking about the gritty
drama set in New York's subway yards. "Although the
fight was fundamentally staged, we just went for it
street-style and the next day we were black and blue
all the way down with huge hung mouths and slammed
bodies. We were supposed to do it all in one take, but
during the first take we lost our elbow pads - which
was crazy because you can't get those darned things
off when you're not fighting. But they literally just
went flying when we revved up."
In 'The Yards', one of the highlights of the 44th
London Film Festival which starts next week, Phoenix
plays Willie Gutierrez, good guy/bad guy, best friend
of Wahlberg's ex-con character and boyfriend to tough,
rich rebel Erica, played by Charlize Theron.
Off-screen Phoenix is unfailingly polite and darkly
handsome. Beneath the nervous outer ruggedness there
seems to be a lot of heart and soul which the camera
somehow manages to pick up. I recall him saying, when
he did press for his first big film, 'To Die For',
that he was still new at the game and, not quite
prepared for the press, he felt positively
shell-shocked and consequently came across as evasive,
maybe even cold. "They likened me to the character I
played in 'To Die for' (Nikole Kidman's confused
victim of desire) and never gave me any credit for
developing that character," he said. "If, early in
your career, you come out with a really well-defined
character, that kind of establishes you and you become
known for that for ever.
"For a while I didn't care, but eventually it
bothered me and I started citing my other work, not
that I've played Richard III or Hamlet. But it's
pathetic, having to defend yourself for something like
that. If I had donned a suit and cut my hair real
short and said, 'Hey, how ya doin'?' they would have
seen the differences between the character and me."
The real Joaquin (pronounced Wah-Keen) Phoenix is
nothing like the character he's built for on/off
hooligan Willie Gutierrez, a man in pursuit of the
American Dream, even if it means cheating and lying.
To start with, he's not after the American Dream.
"There's really not much I'd change about my life, but
these characters in 'The Yards' don't seem to have the
family and relasionships and love that holds us
together. On the one hand they live in a society that
verges on the pursuit of the American Dream, these
images of what you could now define as "the good
life", but on the other they don't have the moral
support or the guidence to make these "good life"
decisions. Our parents always encouraged us to express
ourselves artistically, whatever it may have been,
which seems like a given for all children but
unfortunately I don't think that's the case. So many
children are raised by a nanny or by a single mother
who has to go off to work, like some of the characters
in 'The Yards'.
"We were always encouraged to sing and play music and
paint. And then that natural thing occured when you're
really close to your siblings. Whatever one sibling
does, the others just seem to gravitate towards it.
Whether it's the kind of food somebody likes, like
Chinese and suddenly everyone's eating Chinese, or
music, suddenly its Squeeze or The Sniff. Everybody's
listening to it.
"My brother River (the actor River Phoenix who died
in 1993 of a drugs overdose outside LA's Viper Room)
started the acting thing and we all kind of proceeded
from about the age of seven. My mother worked at NBC
for a casting director who had met all of us and
suggested that she look for an agent. She couldn't
find anybody who would take all of us. One said they'd
take my sisters Summer and Rain and River, but
wouldn't take the rest of us. My parent's wouldn't
split us up so we waited till we found and agent, an
Irish agent, who would take all five of us. I've been
there ever since."
He smiles cautiously, the scar above his lip somehow
giving him an edge, making him look slightly
dangerous. This deceptive air of terror certainly
worked in his last, and probably most famous, role as
the weak and evil teenage emperor Commodus in
'Gladiator.' Russell Crowe, the film's star, tells a
nice story about how Phoenix was so nervous about the
Commodus role that they had to devise a plan to get
him to relax. On the advice of co-star Richard Harris,
they got him thoroughly pissed and three hours later
he flowered, spouting lines of poetry and 'doing
things that actors do'.

Phoenix, 26, has virtually grown up on screen. He
began his career as a child actor and made his
feature-film debut aged 10 in 'Space Camp'. Since then
there's been everything from comedy ('Clay Pigeons'),
thrillers ('8MM'), angst ('Parenthood') and pathos
('Return To Paradise'), Oliver Stone's 'U-Turn' with
his (then) love Liv Tyler, who he'd just met on Pat
O'Connor's charming Fifties romance 'Inventing The
Abbotts'. So far, so good. The sea of change in his
career came with the role of Commodus and now with
Willie Gutierrez. Next comes 'Quills' -- also showing
at the London Film Festival -- with Kate Winslet and
Geoffrey Rush. "It's based on a play about the Marquis
de Sade with historical characters and events," he
explains. "It's quite humorous for the first half with
a twist in the last half. I play the priest and
administrator of Charenton asylum, a man who is
repressing his very strong desires for the
chambermaid, played by Kate Winslet. There are no
sweaty sex scenes. Jut half-sweaty sex scenes! Kates
characte and my character are made for each other. You
really want them to fall in love and be lovers but
this man is married to God. Myself, i'm not into
orgnised religion. For me, I believe in a God of
whatever my own thing is.' Which could be a God of the
trumpet, his current favorite pastime, or a God of the
yellow '72 Le Mans car, his passion.
Phoenix comes with a history that reads like the
sleeve notes of a 60's rock album. The second of five
mercurial children born to hippie parents on 28
October 1974 in Venezuela or Puerto Rico, depending
which version you read, he spent his childhood on the
road in an out-there, wonderfully idealistic life in
Oregon, Mexico, Central America, Texas and Florida.
Then came Hollywood. 'In Hollywood the idealistic
crunch came. My family had a shitty little apartment
in North Hollywood. No kids were allowed so we had to
hide in the closet when the landlady came around. We
schlepped forever, moving every few months, being
evicted regularly for late rent, for kids, whatever."
Phoenix shares a Thirties house in the Hollywood
Hills with younger sister Summer. His mother is often
there, holidaying away from the communal family home
in Florida. "I've always loved the pressur eof making
movies. I hate rehersing. But when you roll that
f***ing camera, it's magic. I'm gone and can't be held
accountable. I'm a maniac for work. When I've got
nothing to do I go a bit kooky. I just stay home and
swim and read and play backgammon. Or play the trumpet
or guitar or listen to CD's. I'm not the big social
guy. I'm quiet by nature. I love to visit my sisters,
my friends, hit the road abit. I'd rather play with my
sister Liberty's kid Rio than go to clubs or shows.
"I've worked a lot this and last year, four in a row.
I pushed myself physically and emotionally with just a
week off between pictures, so I guess I need a bit of
"resting". But what I'd like to do now is a really
big, stupid comedy where all I do is laugh. I feel
that lying somewhere inside is a ley line of comedic
talent waiting to be tapped."

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