Joaquin Phoenix Says He Owes His Acting Career To His Late Brother River In Emotional Speech At TIFF Tribute Gala

Joaquin Phoenix’s new film “Joker” may be getting a ton of Oscar buzz but the actor says he wouldn’t have his career if it weren’t for his late brother River.

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While speaking at the TIFF Tribute Gala, the Golden Globe winner got emotional while discussing his brother.

“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.

“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.”

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Not only did the 44-year-old thank River, he also took a moment to acknowledge others.

“I feel overwhelmed with emotion because I’m just thinking about all the people that had such a profound influence on me,” the actor expressed.

“When I was watching those clips, I thought about my family. My sisters Rain and Liberty and Summer, who are still my best friends.”

Phoenix also thanked his father for his strong work ethic and his mother for being a “constant source of inspiration.”

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Closing out his speech, the “Gladiator” star seemed to shout out his girlfriend, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” star Rooney Mara, who attended the event in support of Phoenix.

“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,” Phoenix said.

“I love you. Thank you.”

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TIFF 2019 Red Carpet

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