The Phoenix River still looms over Hollywood, 29 years after his death

River Phoenix poses in 1988. (Photo: George Rose / Getty Images)

River Phoenix passed away on October 31, 1993 and has now been away for the more than 23 years he has lived in. Yet, 29 years after fatally overdosing on cocaine and heroin, the Oscar-nominated actor and rocker continues to loom over Hollywood.

Just last week, actor Michael J. Fox recalled that Phoenix had been kind to him when he was shooting his 1991 movie. Doctor Hollywood in Florida.

“The Phoenix River and his brother [Joaquin Phoenix] he had a seat there and River would take us out, “Fox said People. “He used to come and pick us up and take us to his house and have a barbecue. It’s fun because it was an act of kindness built on an act of kindness.”

He explained that the two connected when Phoenix appeared in a 1985 episode of Fox’s hit television show, Family ties. Phoenix, who was nine years younger than Fox, seriously impressed the cast member but was struggling with a scene.

“So I went to him and said, ‘What’s the matter?’ And he said, ‘I feel like an asshole,’ “Fox reminded the magazine. “And I said, ‘Do you feel like shit? Why?’ He said, ‘I feel silly, I feel like an asshole.’ And I said, “Welcome to the business. That’s all. This is the highest level of realization you will get is to feel like shit. “It’s stupid. It’s a stupid thing to do for a living. Let’s pretend we’re other people to live. We use things we’re not actually using and eat things we we’re not really eating and we’re in a place because the light is better there and it’s all stupid, but if you stick to it, you can find a way to tell a story that other people can’t. “

Fox thought Phoenix’s hospitality later was the reimbursement of his advice.

“It always seems like the really talented guys are going down”

Friends alum Matthew Perry reflected on Phoenix, his co-star in the 1988 film A night in the life of Jimmy Reardonin his new memoir, Friends, lovers and the great terrible thing.

“River was a better actor than me; I was funnier. But I certainly stood up to our scenes, which is no small feat, if I look back decades later,” wrote Perry, born just a year before. Stand by Me star. “But more importantly, River simply looked at the world in a different way than we all did, and that made him charming, charismatic and, yes, beautiful, but not in a slightly Gap way (although he was too) – in a way that there is no one else in the world like him. “

Matthew Perry is the co-star of the 1988 film River Phoenix

Matthew Perry is the co-star of the 1988 film River Phoenix A night in the life of Jimmy Reardon. (Photo: Everett Collection)

Perry controversially added and has since apologized for it: “It always seems like the really talented guys are falling. Why do original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”

Though Perry said he “picked a random name,” Reeves was close to Phoenix, having starred alongside him in the critically acclaimed 1991 drama. My private Idaho. Gently, Reeves was almost reduced to tears as he talked about his late friend in a November 2021 interview. Reeves said it’s still “weird to talk about him in the past.”

Two months before Perry’s comment on August 23, 2022, the day that would have been Phoenix’s 52nd birthday, his actress sister, Rain Phoenix, wished him a happy birthday with a quote from the poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau: ” On the death of a friend, we should consider that destinies through trust have entrusted us with the task of a double life, which from now on we must keep the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world “.

‘If River was still here …’

And the Phoenix name has appeared regularly over the years. In November 2020, Ethan Hawke, who starred alongside him in the 1985 film Explorerswhich was Hawke’s first, he told al Guardian that Phoenix’s death had greatly affected him.

“It was the brightest light and this industry chewed it up, and that was a big lesson for me,” Hawke said. “If I had to give one reason why I never moved to Los Angeles, I think it’s too dangerous for an actor like me to be in that kind of climate.”

Ethan Hawke, left, and River Phoenix starred together in 1985

Ethan Hawke, left, and River Phoenix starred together in 1985 Explorers. (Photo: Everett Collection)

Samantha Mathis, the Phoenix co-star that year The thing called love and his girlfriend in real life when he died, speculated what he would do if he lived.

“I think if River was still here, I think he would act, direct, save the environment, live and spend time,” he said. People in October 2018. “Oh god, wouldn’t that be nice?”

Between lot of Phoenix was remembered at other times in February 2020 when his younger brother, Joaquin, to whom River was credited for putting him on the road to acting and was notably the person who called 9-1-1 the night his brother died, he accepted the best Oscar actor for his performance in the film Joker.

“When he was 17, my brother wrote this text, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow,'” Joaquin said emotionally in a rare public comment, which arrives at 1:10 am in the video below. The audience cheered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *