film / tv / politics / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / politics / web / celeb

Joaquin Phoenix Rooney Mara Getty 1.jpg

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara Named Their Baby Son River and Shut Up, I'm Not Crying

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | September 28, 2020 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | September 28, 2020 |


Joaquin Phoenix Rooney Mara Getty 1.jpg

Hey, Gen-Xers? Ready to cry?

It’s been a busy year for celebrity pregnancies, as I discussed in a previous post. If you’re a mega-private celebrity who likes to keep such life-changing events secret then what better time to do it than an extended period of lockdown? One such power couple is Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara. The actor’s had one hell of a year following his first Oscar win for Joker, and the news of Mara’s pregnancy was never actually confirmed to the press. She just occasionally went on hikes around Los Angeles wearing very baggy pants that kind of hinted at a bump and let everyone else come to their own conclusions. Hell, the only kind-of admission we got that baby Phoenix had been born was Mara once again being out in public in somewhat baggy clothes with no bump. The pair did a lot of red carpet events together this awards season but never posed together or do any sort of cheesecake joint interviews, and neither is on social media, so many of us thought we wouldn’t get news of the baby’s name until they were in college. Never fear though, because there will always be blabbermouths.

At a Q&A at the Zurich Fim Festival, director Viktor Kossakovsky talked about his new documentary Gunda, which Phoenix executive-produced (yes, it’s about a pig. Did you expect anything else?) While talking about how Phoenix came to be involved with the movie, Kossakovsky let the audience know that his executive producer couldn’t be there to promote the film because he’d just had a ‘beautiful son called River.’



Guys, I totally teared up at this news.

For all the ridiculously young people who frequent our site, River was the name of Joaquin Phoenix’s older brother, a beloved actor who tragically died of a drug overdose in 1993 at the age of 23. Joaquin was famously present when his brother died and the 911 call he made at the time was leaked to the press. Joaquin has always been heavily defined in the press by his supposedly inherently tragic nature as the ‘brother who lived’ and he doesn’t talk about him much in interviews. He and his family did discuss River with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes earlier this year.



Other Phoenix kids were named in honor of River. Liberty Phoenix has a son named Rio and Summer Phoenix has a kid named Indiana. Let’s be honest, you would have been super disappointed if two people named Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara had a kid named Bob or something.

The news of baby River went very viral and inspired a LOT of emotions.








Congratulations to the Phoenix family and please ignore my gentle sobbing.




Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.



Header Image Source: Getty Images.