Joker might not be everyone’s favorite Oscar contender, but one could never accuse Joaquin Phoenix of failing to channel his time in the spotlight for a cause that’s important to him. A few weeks ago, he used his Golden Globes-winning momentum to springboard onto Capitol Hill, where he was promptly arrested near some famous steps after marching next to Jane Fonda during a climate change protest. He did this a few days after shambolically praising the HFPA for offering vegan cuisine at their fancy ceremony and asking his fellow actors to stop taking private jets to film festivals. In his latest followup, Phoenix left the Screen Actors Guild Awards after-party after winning Outstanding Lead Actor to comfort pigs at a slaughterhouse vigil. While on the scene, he further advocated for mass adoption of a vegan diet to ease environmental woes.
Yes, after Phoenix praised Heath Ledger during his speech, he peaced out of the venue to attend a vigil outside a processing plant called Farmer John, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In doing so, he while still formally attired joined fellow activists in comforting pigs within trucks that were entering the facility. During a Facebook Live video with activist Jane Velez-Mitchell’s as part of her Jane Unchained platform, Phoenix spoke to the camera to discuss why he needed to attend. In the process, he declared, “[T]he evidence is overwhelming that there’s a connection between the meat-and-dairy industry and climate change.” You can watch the video here Phoenix appears around the 18:00 mark, and here’s more of what he said:
“Most people don’t really know of the torture and murder in the meat and dairy industry. I’ve seen it for what it is, so I have to be here. We have moral obligations to talk about it and expose it for what it really is. We are so indoctrinated with these happy images of animals on farms, on the covers of meat containers, at restaurants, and it’s a lie. I think people need to know the truth, and we have an obligation to do that.”
Previously during the Capitol Hill climate change protest, Phoenix stated that he “struggle[s] so much with what I can do [to fight climate change] at times …. one thing that I can do is change my eating habits.” Well, he’s certainly drawing attention to his cause and not relenting even during the thick of awards season. And as crude as it sounds to point this out, Phoenix’s future co-stars will never have to worry about receiving live rats as a “gift” following what will probably be his Joker Best Actor Oscar win. That ceremony goes down on February 9, by the way, and we’ll be watching.
Baby Yoda fanatic Werner Herzog had an eventful 2006. He directed Rescue Dawn, his highest-grossing movie in America; was shot at during an interview with BBC; and saved Joaquin Phoenix from a car accident. The legendary filmmaker and two-time Simpsons guest star recounted the last two incidents in an interview with the New York Times.
When asked by interviewer-extraordinaire David Marchese whether he ever found out who fired at him with an air rifle, Herzog replied, “I was shot at various times. You mean here in Los Angeles?” Yes, in Los Angeles. “No, I wasn’t interested.” Fair enough. As for Phoenix, Herzog said that he recognized him it’s fun to imagine Herzog catching a matinee screening of Clay Pigeons, “although he was upside down in this car, squished between airbags that had deployed and wildly trying to light a cigarette.”
Only Herzog could make a car accident sound poetic:
“I knew he must not light his cigarette, because there was gasoline dripping and he would have perished in a fireball. So I tried to be clearly commandeering to him and tell him not to. But I was worried that if you gave him a command, he would strike his lighter even harder. So I managed to snatch the cigarette lighter from his hand. Then it became completely clear that it was Joaquin. But I didn’t want to speak to him after. I saw he wanted to come over and thank me. I just drove off.
Recalling the incident the week after it happened, Phoenix said that he heard a German voice tell him “just relax” and that “there’s something so calming and beautiful about Werner Herzog’s voice. I felt completely fine and safe.” I’m not sure what’s more on-brand: Phoenix smoking a cigarette after crashing his car, or Herzog refusing to stick around after potentially saving a man’s life. He would’ve stayed, had it been Baby Yoda.
Via New York Times
Less than two weeks after his Academy Awards speech decrying mankind’s plummeting of the Earth’s resources and its treatment of cows in the dairy and meat industry, Oscar-winning actor, vegan, and activist Joaquin Phoenix is walking the walk. In a video shared on Thursday by animal rights nonprofit Farm Sanctuary, Phoenix is seen rescuing a mother cow and her newborn calf from a Pico Rivera slaughterhouse, and personally delivering them to another facility held by Farm Sanctuary. Phoenix dubbed the rescued cows Liberty that’s the mama and Indigo her baby, and offered a statement to accompany the video. Watch below.
“I never thought I'd find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony [Di Maria, president/CEO of the slaughterhouse] and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences,” Phoenix said. Di Maria said, as seen in the video, that whenever a cow on his property gives birth to a calf, he refuses to separate them. Though they reach a detente by the clip’s end, they initially engage in some verbal sparring over the use of the words “harvested” vs. “murdered” to label what happens to the animals at the slaughterhouse.
“Without his act of kindness, Liberty and her baby calf, Indigo, would have met a terrible demise,” Phoenix said. “Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them.” Phoenix was also accompanied by representatives from the advocacy group LA Animal Save, which regularly hold vigils for slaughtered animals.
“My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we'll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us,” Phoenix said.
To refresh, upon winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in “Joker,” Phoenix said: “We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something, to give something up, but human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious. And I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”