The Special Meaning Behind Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara's Newborn Son's Name

Actors Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara’s baby has arrived.

Announced Sept. 27, 2020 at the Zurich Film Festival by the couple’s friend, director Victor Kossakovsky, Phoenix and Mara are now new parents to a son – named River.

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara welcomed a son

The actors have worked on films together including Her in 2013 and on two films in 2018, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot and Mary Magdalene. They collaborated, also in 2018, on voice narration for a documentary exposing modern animal agriculture, Dominion.

As mentioned, it was announced on Sept. 27, 2020 at the Zurich Film Festival that the pair had recently welcomed a son. The exact birth date of the child was unsurprisingly not made clear, given how much Phoenix, 45, and Mara, 35, cherish their privacy.

Director Victor Kossakovsky broke the news as he promoted his film, Gunda, on which Joaquin Phoenix is an executive producer.

The director announced that the pair had given birth to a son, a first child for both Phoenix and Mara, and that they had named him River, after Joaquin Phoenix’s deceased brother.

River Phoenix, also an actor, died in 1993

River Phoenix, born in 1970, like his brother Joaquin was an actor. He had memorable roles in films including Stand by Me (1986), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and My Own Private Idaho (1991).

At the age of 23 in 1993, River died of a drug overdose outside of the Viper Room in Los Angeles. With him were Joaquin, their sister Rain, and River’s girlfriend, Samantha Mathis, who in 2018 told The Guardian about the night of his death.

“I knew something was wrong that night,” Mathis said, “something I didn’t understand. I didn’t see anyone doing drugs but he was high in a way that made me feel uncomfortable – I was in way over my head. Forty-five minutes later, he was dead.”

Joaquin was 19 when his brother died from what was later revealed to be an overdose of heroin and cocaine.

Joaquin and his family still feel River’s influence on their lives

River Phoenix’s absence is felt deeply by his family. Nearly 30 years after his death, Joaquin appeared on 60 Minutes in an interview with Anderson Cooper along with, in part, his mother and siblings.

Joaquin shared that he was told by River one day,  “You’re going to be a more successful actor than I am. You’re going to be better known than I am.”

The actor described the day his older brother River introduced him to an influential film in his life, Raging Bull.

“I think it just… awakened something in me,” Joaquin said. “And I could suddenly see it through [River’s] eyes. There’s a part in Raging Bull where De Niro meets a girl in between a chain-link fence. And he, you know, shakes her pinky and it’s like this just beautiful little detail, it’s this wonderful moment. And I think that in some ways is what I’m always looking for.”

Cooper asked Joaquin about River’s legacy in their lives.

“I feel like in virtually every movie that I made, there was a connection to River in some way,” he said. “And I think that we’ve all felt his presence and guidance in our lives in numerous ways.” 

The connection is even stronger, now that there is another River Phoenix in the family.

Source: Read Full Article