Joaquin Phoenix Taught Us That True Love Is Worth the Wait

The Internet has definitely ruined old-fashioned romances, and we miss those days when you couldn’t find out everything about someone’s life online. And this is even more unlikely for celebrities. Still, actors Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have an unusual love story that surpasses everything we know about Hollywood and this modern age.

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara met in 2012 while filming the movie Her. Phoenix played a lonely writer who falls in love with an artificially intelligent virtual assistant, and Mara portrayed the writer’s ex-wife. However, that wasn’t the beginning of their romance.

The actor admitted that he initially thought his co-star didn’t like him but later learned that Mara actually did like him. Apparently, she was too shy to show her interest. Although the 11-year gap might seem like an impediment, they were destined to meet and fall in love.

Vandeville Eric / ABACA / EAST NEWS

Joaquin is one of the few celebrities who stays away from social networks; however, he acknowledged that Rooney is the only girl he has looked up online. At first, they started writing emails to each other and eventually became friends.

The star of The Joker has had a rather difficult childhood and youth, and he had to work hard to find emotional stability. The actor was born in Puerto Rico, but his family moved to the United States when he was just three years old. They lived in extreme poverty, to the point that Joaquin and his four siblings would sing in the street to make some money and help around the house.

In 1993, the actor experienced the traumatic loss of his older brother, River, when he was only 19 years old. Those events left such a mark on him that he found it hard to open himself to love. Although Joaquin had several love affairs over the years, he once confessed that none of his breakups had broken his heart, nor did he feel like he had truly loved any of them. But all that would change in 2016, when he again starred alongside Rooney in the film Mary Magdalene.

The actress played the famous biblical woman, while Phoenix played the role of Jesus. Although they had been friends for several years, their love story began on the set of this film. The couple has kept their relationship private, and their first appearance together was at the Cannes Film Festival 2017, and from then on, every time they attend a red carpet, they radiate complicity and love.

The relationship happened very naturally, and soon after Joaquin revealed that he was living together with Rooney and gave some details of their quiet home life as a couple. Neither of them has social media, and they enjoy simple things like watching movies or documentaries and relaxing in nature.

In 2019, the couple seemed to have taken the next step by getting engaged — Rooney appeared with a beautiful diamond ring on her hand. Aside from their talent and taste for cinema, the actors share another great passion — the love for animals. Away from all the glamour of Hollywood, they have participated in multiple protests dedicated to protecting animals.

After winning a major award at the Toronto Film Festival, Phoenix declared his love for his fiancée in an original speech. “Somewhere here, I don’t know where, is a filthy dragon, and I want to rip its wings off and fasten a blanket and sleep with it forever. I love you. Thank you,” said the actor, referring to the movie that launched Rooney to stardom, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

After the great success of The Joker, Phoenix and Mara proved that they can dazzle with their elegance at the most important awards, while at the same time keeping their simplicity and humility, as we can see in the image of them celebrating the victory of the actor at the Oscars with vegan burgers.

That same year the couple welcomed their first child, whom they decided to name River, in honor of Joaquin’s late brother. Becoming parents inspired them to fight even harder for important causes and be more conscious about pursuing a better future for their son, as the actress herself shared, “Raising our baby, River, has opened my heart to a whole new life filled with hope and more determination than ever to create a kinder and more sustainable world.”

Rooney also revealed that she’s been fortunate enough to devote herself entirely to her family, as she has chosen not to work too much in recent years, accepting only small roles. However, the actress also acknowledged that she and Phoenix have formed a great team and are constantly developing their creativity.


The couple’s next project is a thriller called The Island, which may be released in 2024. As for their family life, Rooney and Joaquin demonstrate that not all Hollywood love stories are scandalous. They preferred to get to know each other and establish a real connection in order to build a deep and stable relationship and raise their son with the values they share.

Preview photo credit AP / East News, Tsuni / USA / Alamy Stock Photo


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