Joaquin Phoenix wins for ‘Joker’, bats for equality, veganism and the environment in speech

Actor concludes speech quoting a lyric written by his late brother, River Phoenix

Updated - February 10, 2020 11:59 am IST

Published - February 10, 2020 11:13 am IST

Joaquin Phoenix wins the Oscar for Best Actor in ‘Joker’ at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020

Joaquin Phoenix wins the Oscar for Best Actor in ‘Joker’ at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020

Continuing his clean sweep of all the awards for Joker , Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar for his now-iconic role of the deranged anti-villain from the Batman universe. Heath Ledger won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar posthumously for portraying the same character in The Dark Knight (2008).

This is only the second time that two actors have won an Oscar for playing the same character. In 1972, Marlon Brando won the Best actor Oscar for playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather . Two years later, Robert De Niro won Best Supporting Actor for playing the younger version of the same character in The Godfather: Part II.

However, Phoenix used his time on the stage to arc the spotlight onto a number of issues which needed highlighting.

"I want to use this opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. We face several distressing issues and champion different causes, but I see commonality in our fights, be it gender and equality, or racism or queer rights or animal rights. We are all in this fight against injustice,” he said.

The actor continued, “We are 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.”

“We have become disconnected from the natural world and plunder it for its resources,” Phoenix said, adding that he hopes everyone gets a second chance at life to better: something which he got.

Phoenix also batted for veganism, and advisef everyone to use love and compassion as guiding principles. “I’ve been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many have given me a second chance. I think that’s when we’re at our best — when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, educate each other, and guide each other towards redemption,” he spoke to the crowd, holding his trophy.

He choked up during the conclusion of his speech, by quoting a lyric written by his late brother, River Phoenix, when he was 17 years old: “Run into the rescue with love, and peace will follow.”

The award is Phoenix’s first Oscar. He was previously was nominated for his roles in The Master, Walk the Line and Gladiator.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.