Joaquin Phoenix Was ‘Full Of Fear’ Before Winning An Oscar For ‘Joker’ And Almost Gave A Much Shorter Speech

At the 2020 Academy Awards, Joaquin Phoenix gave an impassioned speech against injustice after becoming the second actor to win an Oscar for playing the Joker.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively. I think at times we feel, or we’re made to feel, that we champion different causes,” he said. “But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity.” It was less self-congratulatory than the usual Oscar speech, but Phoenix was initially unsure about what he wanted to say — or if he wanted to say anything at all.

“I’ll be honest with you here. I did not want to get up anywhere and do anything. I was not excited about the opportunity. It’s just not who I am. I was full of fear,” he told the Sunday Times. “I was in that situation and there was a part of me that just wanted to say, ‘Thanks so much, great, goodnight.’ But I felt like I had to… If I’m up here, I can’t just thank my mum.” Hey, it worked for Joe Pesci.

Phoenix, as Hollywood’s most outspoken vegan, also discussed whether he plans to pass his no-meat beliefs to his child with actress Rooney Mara. “Well, certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child. I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I’m going to educate him about the reality. I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal because there’s nothing f*cking happy about that meal. And I’m not going to tell him that it’s OK to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals, and they say ‘oink oink oink’ and ‘moo moo moo,’ and not tell him that that’s what a hamburger is. I’m not going to perpetuate the lie, but I’m also not going to force him to be vegan. I’ll support him. That’s my plan.”

The kid will have to build his Joker Happy Meal toy collections in other ways (eBay).

(Via the Sunday Times)