Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix has revealed that a horrible car crash changed his life for good.
The ‘Joker’ star said he was drinking heavily and partying following the success of his ‘Johnny Cash’ biopic ‘Walk the Line’ 15 years ago, and beginning to lose control.
The actor – in conversation with a magazine – admitted: “I wasn’t engaging with the world or myself in the way I wanted to.” He added: “I was being an idiot, running around, drinking, trying to screw people, going to stupid clubs.”
Then, one night, Phoenix flipped his car during a drive around Los Angeles and was waiting on the side of the road, by the wreckage, about to light a cigarette, when German filmmaker Herzog intervened.
The actor checked into rehab after director Werner Herzog highlighted his reckless ways following a near-death car crash.
“A German voice said, ‘Just relax’,” Phoenix recalls, explaining the director pointed out the car was leaking petrol and Joaquin was seconds away from potentially lighting himself on fire.
He entered a treatment facility days later and now the Oscar winner has no desire to drink like he used to and follow tragic brother, River Phoenix, to an early grave.
“There’s too many things I enjoy doing and I don’t want to wake up feeling hungover,” he added. “It’s not a thing I fight against, it’s just the way I live my life.”