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Does Joaquin Phoenix have children? The ‘Joker’ star named his son after his late brother River

Joaquin Phoenix, who has yet to confirm he’ll be reprising his role in the “Joker” sequel, is a doting dad to a toddler, River, named after his late brother. Learn more about the award-winning actor’s child.

Writer and director Todd Philips recently revealed that the “Joker” sequel is in the works and that Joaquin Phoenix has already read it.

The previous “Joker” film which starred Phoenix became a blockbuster hit, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film in history. It also received 11 Oscar nominations and an Oscar win for the original score by Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Joaquin Phoenix with the Humanitarian Award on behalf of Casey Affleck at PETA’s 15th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards at Paramount Studios on September 10, 2005 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

While the news got fans excited, it’s still unclear if Phoenix, who won an Oscar for her performance, will reprise her role in the sequel. Upon his victory, Phoenix said:

“I think the greatest gift he has given me and many of us in this room is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless.”

It was undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments in the actor’s life. However, nothing can beat the monumental moment that changed her life forever, the birth of her only son.


Joaquin Phoenix at the ‘Walk The Line’ press conference during the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2005 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. | Source: Getty Images

Phoenix welcomed her firstborn in 2020 with her partner, Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara. The couple named their son River, after the brother of Joaquin Phoenix, who died in 1993 aged 23 from a drug overdose. He has always inspired Phoenix to do great in life.

The couple chose to keep their personal lives out of the spotlight, but actively talked about wanting a better world for their son. In a post they wrote in light of the migrant child crisis, Phoenix and Mara wrote:

“How will it feel to explain to our son when he asks us about this time and how we treated frightened and helpless children? Some of them may never see their parents again.”

Joaquin Phoenix at the ‘The Sisters Brothers’ premiere during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival at the Princess of Wales Theater on September 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. | Source: Getty Images

Having a son has certainly opened doors for Phoenix and Mara to truly understand and feel the well-being of children. According to an insider, River has “enhanced their lives more than they ever imagined and brought them closer together.” Although it wasn’t easy, parenthood was something they welcomed.

Phoenix and Mara take River away from the spotlight and want him to follow his own path one day, whether in the entertainment industry or elsewhere.

Phoenix also isn’t considering forcing veganism on his son, a practice he’s been observing for some time now. “Well, certainly I hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” he said. “I will educate him on reality. I won’t indoctrinate him with the idea […].”

Joaquin Phoenix during the press room for the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Despite being a vegan with limited food choices, Phoenix had no trouble losing weight for his role on “Joker.” Mara, however, supported her husband throughout his journey for the film.


Joaquin Phoenix’s wife also agrees with his parenting style. The pair met in 2012 on the set of “Spike Jonze,” but it was nothing like love at first sight for the couple. In fact, the award-winning star was convinced that Mara didn’t like him.

It wasn’t until 2017 that they made their red carpet debut as a couple. Neither party spoke about their relationship, but their body language was enough to note that they were in love. Two years later, engagement rumors surfaced when Mara was seen with a beautiful diamond ring on her left hand.

Joaquin Phoenix at the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Getty Images

The couple have since kept quiet about everything related to the wedding. Nonetheless, it’s evident that they are truly, deeply, and madly in love with each other.


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