Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have reportedly welcomed their first child, naming him River in a moving tribute to Phoenix’s late brother.
Director Victor Kossakovsky, who worked with Phoenix on the documentary Gunda, recently revealed the news at the Zurich Film Festival, saying of the Joker star, “He just got a baby by the way,” People reports. “A beautiful son called River.”
Phoenix and Mara, who reportedly got engaged in 2019, have not confirmed the update. It was reported in May that they were expecting their first child together.
Phoenix’s brother, River Phoenix, died at 23 of a drug overdose. When Phoenix took home the Academy Award for Best Actor earlier this year for his performance in Joker, he honored his late brother by quoting one of his lyrics in an emotional speech.
“When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric,” Phoenix said. “He said, ‘run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.'”
At the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival Tribute Gala, Phoenix also recalled his late brother showing him Raging Bull when he was a teenager and telling him, “You’re going to start acting again, this is what you’re going to do,” reports Variety.
“He didn’t ask me, he told me,” Phoenix continued. “And I am indebted to him for that because acting has given me such an incredible life.” Brendan Morrow