saintclaire87 (saintclaire87) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Joaquin Phoenix Reveals How Brother River's Death Impacted Him in Rare Interview

Joaquin Phoenix sat down with Anderson Cooper for a rare interview on 60 Minutes where he talked about his brother’s death back in 1993.

River was only 23 when he died of a drug overdose outside of The Viper Room in 1993. Joaquin was 19 and he with his brother at the time.

Joaquin was also joined by his entire family and they discussed the effect River's passing has had on them. Joaquin talks about how invasive the press was and how it impacted the family's grief process.

Joaquin told Anderson that it was River who introduced him to acting and that he feels River's death has impacted his all of his movies.

“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.”

Sources: 1,2
Tags: actor / actress, anderson cooper, celebrity children / siblings, interview, joaquin phoenix

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i can't imagine the pain of losing your sibling.
It’s so hard. I’ve been dealing with it for almost 6 months and what I’ve noticed is (in my case) people forget about the surviving siblings after the initial blow. Long after the services/funerals, and when the flowers die and you’re left along to grieve. People will ask my mom how she’s doing and my dad. Rarely do they ask about myself and my youngest brother. We can’t even find support groups for siblings who lost a sibling!
My older brother was killed in a freak car accident almost 9 years ago. I don’t think anyone in my family really got over it, my Dad was never the same again.
i lost my childhood best friend to an accidental overdose in september and it's still bizarre to me that someone can be here one day then gone.

grief is a weird thing to process.

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My dad died when I was a young teen and that's the thing I found the hardest to deal with as well. The fact that when someone you love dies suddenly/accidentally they're just gone, no closure.
5 years ago this September I lost my best friend since high school to an accidental overdose, and I spent the entire day and night with him, and 2 hours later he passed away.

It sometimes hits me like a whiplash how he was here one day and one day he wasn’t
how invasive the press was and how it impacted the family's grief process

i can't even imagine having your life under such a microscope when something so tragic happens to your family. i remember that a photog snuck into the funeral home river was in and took a photo of his body that ran in magazines(i think i'm remembering the story correctly). just awful.
it’s so disgusting that they did that. also you can’t even look up river anywhere without that picture coming up either.
ik, it's horrible. one year on my birthday i did a google image search for river to post on tumblr(since we have the same birthday - month/day) and i had completely forgotten about that photo until it was just in my face. it's just so sad and vile that was done to him and his family.


1 year ago

Has he ever talked about his passing before? It seems like for so long, understandably, River was just an off limits topic for him.
Thinking about River's death makes me feel ill. I didn't even realize how young 23 was until I was 23. He lived so much, yet hardly got to live at all. He went through so much shit too. He never got justice and he always tried to be a good person. It's just so sad. I feel horrible for Joaquin too. I've listened to those 911 tapes and I can't even imagine. I couldn't deal with that now, much less at 19. I give him a lot of credit for doing so well for himself and putting his talents to use, especially when it would've been perfectly understandable had he ended up in the loony bin for the rest of his life. I don't know if I would have fared so well after something so traumatic.
To be honest I blame the family for not trying to get justice for River. They'd rather try and save his image (which didn't work out) than investigate Frusciante and the rest.
I don't care for Joaquin very much, but I very much sympathize with the loss of his brother. I was the same age as he was when my brother died and it traumatized me for years. It's been 15 years and it still has an impact on my family. Like, my entire life we always sat down for dinner at the table, in the same spots, but after he was gone, we never sat at the kitchen table again. My parents got rid of it and put in an island. Sometimes when I visit we'll eat around the dining room table, but standard practice is tv tables while watching something.

I'm usually very practical about it now because it all just becomes a part of you, but sometimes I just get really angry and upset about the unfairness of it all.
I can’t even think about a loss of that magnitude
He's always kept this so private and the timing for this interview is a bit hmmmmmmmmmm
My ex-husband lost his younger brother when his brother was shy of his 20th birthday by two days. He was in a motorcycle accident. The absolute devastation on his face when I saw him broke me in half.
oh my god I literally didn't realize they were related, idk how I missed that
My 27 year old brother died unexpectedly this past July and it’ll be six months on the 28th. Losing a sibling, no matter what the circumstances are, is devastating. Right now it’s still so raw, but I try to find ways to do things that would somehow include him.

And I totally agree on the concept of grieving and it not having a timeline. I can have days where I am fine. Then I could be doing something so simple like painting my nails or laundry and the tears will pour out of my eyes. I can’t imagine how their family has dealt with nearly 27 years of not having their son/brother. It horrifies me to think that I’ll wake up one day in the future and think “wow.. it’s been “this many years” since I last saw you..”.
I'm so sorry for your loss - that's heartbreaking. Best wishes to you and your family.

I’m too young to remember much about this but Natalie Merchant’s song about him makes me FEEL things.

what's the song called?
River! It’s maybe the second or third track?? On Tigerlily. It’s a beautiful song ❤️


January 14 2020, 05:11:23 UTC 1 year ago Edited:  January 14 2020, 05:12:39 UTC

I remember it well....all the tabloid TV shows speculating about drugs and playing the 911 tape, people saying Joaquin gave him the drugs, paper tabloids with pics of River from "My Own Private Idaho" passed out saying that was his dead body, paps harassing Samantha Mathis and Martha Plimpton, it was a horrible, horrible time. Only People magazine treated his passing with respect and had a beautiful tribute to him.
I'm just young enough (or just old enough, depending on how you look at it I guess) to remember River's death being reported on the news and it being a huge thing, but not being old enough to have seen his movies or really know who he was. Flash forward to 2019, and I'd still never seen any of his movies; I didn't really care to. I guess his death just always struck me as so tragic that I didn't want to watch something he was in and I dunno, belatedly experience that grief. Everyone who was a fan still seems to be so broken-hearted about him to this day.

So I wrote all of that to get to this part: a friend talked me into watching Stand By Me at the end of last year, and I got through the whole thing thinking I was doing fine, then got to the reveal at the very end of the movie, the credits roll, and boom I'm sobbing. Over both the movie and the fact that River himself died so young, I guess. It seems strange to say about a guy who died thirty years ago, who I never met, but there really was something special about him. I see why people still grieve him.
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