Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara reportedly welcome a baby boy named after late brother River

Hollywood stars Joaquin Phoenix, 45, and Rooney Mara, 35, have reportedly welcomed a son named after Phoenix’s late brother River.

Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky announced the news at a Q&A session at the 2020 Zurich Film Festival following a screening of Gunda, a film which Phoenix worked on as executive producer.

Apologising for his absence at the festival, Kossakovsky said: “He just got a baby, by the way, his name was… a beautiful son called River, so he cannot promote it now.”

The name River also belonged to Phoenix’s late brother, who died of a drug overdose in 1993 at the age of 23. River Phoenix, the star of films like Stand By Me (1986) and My Own Private Idaho (1991), overdosed outside famous nightclub The Viper Room in West Hollywood. Joaquin, then 19, was with him at the time and called 911.

When Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor Oscar earlier this year for Joker (2019), he paid tribute to his brother by quoting a lyric he wrote, which said “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow”.

Mara and Phoenix met on the 2013 film Her, but started dating only in 2016, after the filming of Mary Magdalene. They confirmed their engagement last year, but are yet to be married. There were rumours earlier that Mara was pregnant.

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