In the words of the presenter Willem Defoe, "one of the most talented and transformative actors in cinema," i.e, Joaquin Phoenix was awarded the inaugural TIFF tribute actor award. Willem, himself an acting titan, was all praise in his introduction of the actor.
Phoenix walked mid-introduction and joked around with Defoe. He thanked him for presenting him with the award and cited Defoe as his all-time favorite actor. He continued his jokey demeanor, before getting to talk about his inspirations in life. Phoenix thanked his parents and first agent, Iris Burton, to whom he feels forever indebted.
He then talked about his siblings, remembering how his brother Phoenix made him see 'Raging Bull' twice. He said that River then told him to get them back to acting again, advice that has certainly paid. Further, he mentioned his father John Lee for instilling in him a solid work ethic and thanked his mother for being a constant support in his life.
Phoenix is having a hell of a year with his portrayal of the nefarious crime lord in Todd Philips' 'Joker' which has won the Golden Cup at the Venice Film Festival recently. Directed by Todd Philips, Joker is an original standalone origin story of the iconic villain not seen before on the big screen, it's a gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society, and a broader cautionary tale.
'Joker' is set to bring a smile to your face on October 4, 2019.