Actors Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara reportedly welcomed their first child — a son they named River, in honor of Phoenix's late brother, River Phoenix. Mara and Phoenix are a famously private couple, and neither of them has confirmed the news. The couple never even formally announced they were expecting. The news that they named their son after River had their fans in tears on Twitter Sunday.
Director Victor Kossakovsky broke the news during a Q&A session after a screening of his film Gunda at the 2020 Zurich Film Festival this weekend, reports Just Jared. Phoenix is an executive producer on the movie. Gunda is a documentary on the life of a pig, cows, and a one-legged chicken. Phoenix is an outspoken animal rights activist and criticized the dairy farming industry in his 2020 Oscars speech in February.
Mara and Phoenix, 45, met while filming Spike Jonze's Her in 2013 and went on to film Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, Dominion, and Mary Magdalene together. They got engaged in 2019. Rumors that Mara was pregnant started in May. Photographers spotted the 35-year-old Mara wearing loose-fitting clothing to hide the pregnancy.
Phoenix gave a tearful tribute to River during his 2020 Oscar speech after accepting the Best Actor award for Joker. "I have been a scoundrel all my life, I've been selfish," Phoneix said. "I've been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I'm grateful that so many of you in this room 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 our past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow. When we educate each other; when we guide each other to redemption." Phoenix then read a lyric River wrote when he was 17, "He said: 'run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.'"
I was not prepared for my emotional reaction to the news that Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara named their new baby boy River.— JohnnyUtah'sBadKnee (@DrewMcWeeny) September 27, 2020
This makes me happy at the same times breaks my heart. I remember when Joaquin won Oscar, he gave a speech and at the end he was talking about his brother and he was in tears.— ocean blue (@Khorshidaa) September 27, 2020
me finding out joaquin phoenix named his son river pic.twitter.com/slYOi8hIkS— autumn. (@alaskasattic) September 27, 2020
Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara named their baby River.— Mrs (@xfillthesilence) September 27, 2020
I’M DROWNING IN MY OWN TEARS pic.twitter.com/vBmB2eFCeO
congratulations to joaquin phoenix and rooney mara!! i’m so happy for them. welcome baby river 🥺❤️ pic.twitter.com/nxAb2M1TN7— melissa (@veIvetcasket) September 27, 2020