Whatever you thought about ‘Joker’ on the whole, everyone seems to agree that Joaquin Phoenix put in an unforgettable, Oscar-worthy performance that was as dark, twisted, creepy and gritty as advertised.
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I couldn’t help but wonder while watching ‘Joker’ what sort of person Joaquin Phoenix was in real life. I mean we all saw him go off the rails when he wanted to become a rapper a few years back, but that turned out to be some kind of ‘performance art’ piece where he was just trolling everyone. On screen and off screen, something about Joaquin Phoenix has always seemed ‘off’ , and it makes him fascinating and creepy at the same time.
But what’s the most unnerving thing about Joaquin Phoenix? Is it the scar on his lip? (A microform cleft lip that he developed in his mum’s womb):
Is it his intense, drug addict eyes?
Or is it the way pronouncing his name makes it sound like you’re bringing up some phlegm?
All of those answers are correct, but there’s something else about Joaquin Phoenix that might go some way to explaining why he’s so fascinatingly weird.
Turns out Joaquin Phoenix’s parents were members of a cult called ‘The Children of God’ where brainwashed adults had sex with kids, and where women used sex to bring in new male members.
We’ve written all about ‘The Children of God’ cult previously HERE, so go there for a more in-depth look, but basically what you need to know is they viewed sex in general as the best way to praise Jesus and members were ordered to share their husbands and wives with each other.
Children as young as THREE were encouraged to ‘play’ sexually with adults, including their parents. But perhaps the most screwed up part was the emphasis put on children sexually stimulating each other; they would be put in pairs for sexual exploration at night, after saying their prayers and before going to bed.
Joaquin’s older brother River Phoenix (who starred in the classic ‘Stand By Me’) had spoken previously about losing his virginity and ‘making love’ frequently from four years old while he was a part of the cult:
I’m glad I did it when I was young.
But I didn’t want… different body parts that were in my face to make me perverse when I was older, so I blocked it all out. I was completely celibate from 10 to 14. You’re just born into that reality, and you accept it.
River ended up becoming addicted to coke, crack and heroin, and overdosed outside Johnny Depp’s ‘Snake Room’ nightclub in 1993.
The cult didn’t believe in members working regular jobs, so Joaquin’s family would beg on the street for change while living in a rat-infested slum with no toilet.
When Joaquin was four his family quit the cult, got on a ship from Venezuela to America and changed their surname from “Bottom” to “Phoenix”. The rest is history.
So yeah, if you watched ‘Joker’ and were wondering where Joaquin Phoenix may have got the inspiration to play an unhinged, mentally-deranged lunatic with mummy and daddy issues, that might go some way to explaining it.
In fact, it looks like the guy may still be in character weeks after the movie’s release – Joaquin Phoenix crashed his Tesla into an ambulance just the other night.