Actor Ethan Hawke still finds it weird to talk about his former co-star River Phoenix, more than 20 years after his death.
The 45-year-old worked with the late actor as a teenager in 1985 science fiction movie Explorers, the film debut for both stars, and now, 23 after Rivers' drug-induced cardiac arrest death in 1993, the Boyhood star still laments the loss of his friend.
"It’s weird to talk about River now," he told Vulture. "It’s still hard for me not to think about how great he would’ve been in a role like this one in (his new movie) Born to Be Blue; how wonderful it would’ve been to see more performances; what he would’ve accomplished as an adult."
Ethan's acting career has gone from strength to strength since his debut, but River isn't the only co-star he has mourned the loss of along the way.
Continue reading: Ethan Hawke Still Struggles With River Phoenix Death
Actor Ethan Hawke felt a huge loss when rival River Phoenix passed away in 1993, even though their relationship had been a "nightmare" for many years.
The leading men starred opposite each other in the 1985 movie Explorers when they were both teenagers, but they became rivals shortly afterwards when the two actors discovered they were vying for the same roles.
The rivalry hit a high when River received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in 1988 film Running on Empty, and Ethan admits he was "so jealous" of his peer's growing success.
"It was really hurting my life," Ethan told the audience during a frank talk at the Austin Film Society on Thursday night (18Feb16). "(River's film) Stand by Me came out and it was this runaway hit. That summer, the (soundtrack) song (by Ben E. King) was everywhere, I could not get away from it, and River's calling me up and telling me he lost his virginity, and I still was a virgin. It was a nightmare for me."
Heroin has claimed yet another high-profile victim, we look at other famous faces to have fallen foul of the drug.
GWAR frontman Dave Brockie died of a heroin overdose Other celebs who have passed away from the drug It was recently announced that frontman of theatrical horror-rock band GWAR has died of a heroin overdose, just another victim of a substance that each year lays waste to thousands upon thousands of tortured souls across the world. In the celebrity sphere, and music world especially, heroin is an all-too common cause of death that has taken the lives of many of the world’s iconic figures.
GWAR frontman Dave Brockie died of a heroin overdose earlier this year
It is also synonymous with certain movements and genres. It’s usage in the grunge era was ubiquitous much the same as it was amongst the likes of Led Zeppelin and the monsters of rock that flourished in yesteryear. To some, heroin is viewed with romanticism that has inspired countless songs, from The La’s “There She Goes” to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” As such, it’s often viewed as a glamorous addition to one’s lifestyle, especially those with a fondness for the ‘gonzo’ literary works of Hunter S. Thompson and William Burroughs. But first and foremost, despite its allusions as a pathway towards creative bliss, it is a killer that ensnares the victim in a routine of cop and fix that can so easily lead to degradation and eventual death.
River Phoenix's last film, 'Dark Blood', will soon be seen by US audiences.
21 years after his death, River Phoenix’s final film Dark Blood is set to be released in the US having been picked up by distributor Lionsgate. It’s a film which many though would never see the light of day after, but director George Sluizer has worked hard to try and deliver as close to a complete film as possible, given the circumstances. Whilst its been 21 years since Phoenix's tragic death, public fascination with the actor and his short career has never waned, but can Dark Blood be a fitting end to his screen legacy?
River Phoenix died in 1993, he was just 23 years old
Set in the Utah desert, Dark Blood tells the story of a young Hollywood couple, Harry and Buffy whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere while they're enjoying a second honeymoon. They then encounter a young widower, Boy, played by Phoenix, who has retreated to the desert after his wife's death in order to wait for the end of the world. But things soon start to take a dark turn for the couple when Boy develops an unhealthy obsession with Buffy.
Michelle Pfeiffer revealed she was involved in a cult-like relationship with a couple when she first arrived in Los Angeles. The 55-year-old actress stated the couple were "very controlling" and believed in "breatharianism", the belief that a human could reach "their highest state" through not drinking or eating.
Michelle Pfeiffer admitted to being in a cult when she was younger. The 55-year-old actress discussed her involvement with an unusual couple which led to her involvement into a cult called breatharianism. This involved abstaining from drinking or eating as they believe it food and drink are not necessary to live.
Michelle Pfeiffer discussed her cult-like lifestyle in a magazine article promoting her latest film, The Family.
The Batman actress spoke to The Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine (published on 3rd November) about her youthful involvement in the cult. Pfieffer described how, after leaving home at the age of 20, she became involved with a "very controlling" couple when she arrived in Los Angeles. She described the couple as "kind of personal trainers" who placed her on an extreme diet, breatharianism, which "nobody can adhere to."
Continue reading: Michelle Pfeiffer Led Cult-Like Lifestyle As Young Actress In L.A.
River Phoenix continued his on screen presence 20 years after his death this week when his last film, Dark Blood, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. British actor Jonathan Pryce – who worked with Phoenix on the film – has been telling Reuters about the young star.
"I found him a remarkable young man," Pryce told reporters after a press screening in Berlin. "I can't believe now looking back that he was only 23 at the time, a kind of old head on young shoulders. He was absolutely delightful and wonderful to work with. Pheonix, brother of Joaquin, was considered to be one of the brightest stars of his generation before his untimely and tragic death due to a drug overdose. This happened just 10 days before filming was due to finish for Dark Blood. "In all the weeks we were together in Utah ... at no time did I experience him using drugs or abusing drugs in any way, shape or form. I'm not a drug user myself but I'd have known. It was a time in his life when he was very committed to not using drugs. I loved him a lot and I love his memory."
The film’s journey has been a miraculous one. Director, George Sluizer, found out back in 1999 that the footage was to be destroyed, so he flew over and rescued the reels just in time. 2007 saw serious illness hit for the Dutch filmmaker, so he decided to finish what he started. Even after all this, though, he might find the indifferent business of Hollywood a tough place to negotiate. "They are very tough," he said. "They are billionaires, money market people apparently who by mistake I would say have in their stock ... a film, and they don't care about movies and they don't care about culture, they care about money."
River Phoenix's death occurred 10 days before the wrap of his last film, Dark Blood - the film that premiered at Berlin film festival today, two decades after his death from a drugs overdose.
George Sluizer - a Dutch director - recovered much of the film from its insurance company's vaults. His fundamental idea had been to "put something together so that the material could be preserved in a proper form, rather than in a wastepaper basket". Sluizer explained to The Guardian: "I'm missing about 25% of it, and we lack a number of scenes, but having shown it to a few people after I salvaged it, who raved about the performances, I felt safe enough to continue," he added. Describing it as a "chair with three legs", Sluizer made sure the audience knew they were in for an uncompleted piece of work. "The fourth leg (of the chair) will always be missing but the chair will be able to stand upright," he said, poetically. Phoenix tragically died of a drugs overdose at the age of 23.
The film doesn't appear to have the support of the Phoenix family. A statement released by them says, "Joaquin Phoenix (River's brother) and his family have not been in communication with the director nor will they participate in any way."
Continue reading: The River Phoenix Movies Keep On Coming
For some years, there, we had high hopes for Justin Bieber. It really looked as though the squeaky clean pop star was just that: squeaky clean. A chance online encounter propelled the young bedroom singer to stardom, with a little help from his new pal Usher and by all accounts, he seemed to be the kinda lad that his fans wouldn’t mind taking home to meet mom and dad (they wish!). He was polite, if occasionally a little dim, he came from a seemingly pleasant church-going family and would speak regularly about his faith as though he were just another pleasant, well-behaved young boy next door who happened to be allowed outside the realms of the white picket fence just a few years earlier than most.
A montage of a young Justin Bieber talking about his faith
Continue reading: Timber! Is Justin Bieber Teetering On The Brink Of A Fall From Grace?
River Phoenix’s final movie ‘Dark Blood’ will finally be released on September 27, 2012, almost 20 years after the aspiring star died outside The Viper Room in Los Angeles. Phoenix –who had ingested a lethal combination of cocaine and heroin – stars in George Sluizer’s thriller about a young widow living in the desert on a nuclear testing site.
Phoenix – who was considered one of the finest young actors in Hollywood – died as he and Sluizer were putting the finishing touches to the movie. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the director, now 80, said of Phoenix’s death, “I was devastated…It was a terrible sadness.” The movie had roughly 11 days of production to complete when the actor died, with an insurance company making the call to abandon the project and pay out to the original investors. As the firm became owners of the movie, it sat in storage until 1999, at which point they decided to destroy it. “That’s when I said, ‘No, no, I’m going to save it from destruction”, said Sluizer, without going into detail as to how he took ownership of ‘Dark Blood’ once again. After suffering an acute aortic dissection while holidaying in France and spending months recovering, the director decided he had to finish the film, “I said, I want to finish the film before whatever happens,” adding, “At least I will finish my job as best as I could.” The movie will premiere at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht this week, and is competing for the festival’s Golden Calf award.
Phoenix was just 23 when he died outside Los Angeles club The Viper Room in 1993 and Sutherland admits he still can't believe such a promising star is gone.
The 24 star says, "I liked River Phoenix so much and he passed at such an early age and he was one of those wonderful young actors.
"He couldn't have been more than 13 or 14 at the time (we made Stand By Me) and he was the one that would call you in your room every night and go, 'Do you mind running over lines with me for this scene?' He loved it so much and you could just see that he was going to be a really special actor.
Continue reading: Kiefer Sutherland: 'I Still Miss River Phoenix'
Date of birth
23rd August, 1970
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