Oscars 2020: Joaquin Phoenix wins Best Actor: I have been a scoundrel all my life, grateful for a 2nd chance

Joaquin Phoenix took home his first-ever Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role for Joker at Oscars 2020 and used the platform to deliver a strong message while tearfully paying tribute to his late brother River Phoenix. Read Joaquin's full Oscar winning speech below.

Updated on Feb 10, 2020 11:53 PM IST  |  597.6K
Joaquin Phoenix tearfully paid tribute to his late brother River Phoenix during his first-ever Oscar winning speech.
Joaquin Phoenix tearfully paid tribute to his late brother River Phoenix during his first-ever Oscar winning speech.

Joaquin Phoenix was already a shoo-in from the very beginning for the Actor in a Leading Role category at Oscars 2020, as he dominated most of the award season this year for his fabulous performance as Arthur Fleck in Joker. Many were instead excited about what the versatile actor's first-ever Oscar winning speech would sound like and now that the award ceremony reached its finish line, all we can say is; Joaquin Phoenix, what a concept! It was last year's Actress in a Leading Role winner Olivia Colman who presented Joaquin with his Academy Award.

As he humbly accepted his first-ever Oscar, the 43-year-old actor began, "I’m full of so much gratitude now. I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love – that’s the love of film. And this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know where I’d be without it." However, just like his BAFTA speech, Joaquin used the Oscar platform to give out a strong statement.

Check out Joaquin Phoenix's photo below:

"But I think the greatest gift that it’s given me, and many people in [this industry] is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking about some of the distressing issues that we’ve been facing collectively," Phoenix shared passionately and added, "I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice."

"We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity. I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the center of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal," Joaquin stated while promoting veganism.

"We fear the idea of personal change because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment," Phoenix pondered but also had a moment of self-introspection as he continued, "I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. 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."

Taking a moment to calm himself of the overriding emotions he was feeling at that very moment, Joaquin ended his inspiring speech by remembering his late brother River Phoenix and tearfully concluded, "When he was 17, my brother [River Phoenix] wrote this lyric. He said, 'run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.'"

What a speech! What a man! Congratulations, Mr. Phoenix for a truly well-deserved and long-awaited Oscar win!

ALSO READ: Oscars 2020 Winners: Parasite wins Best Picture; Makes history with FOUR Academy Awards

What did you think of Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar-winning speech? Let us know your views in the comments section below.


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