Joaquin Phoenix Didn’t Want To Make 2020 Oscars Speech

“I was not excited about the opportunity.”

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You may remember that when he stepped on stage to accept the award for Best Actor for his role in Joker, he actually asked the crowd to stop cheering for him.

He went on to make a speech touching on the “distressing issues” the world is facing and how the causes individuals are fighting for can actually be a unifying factor for all of humanity.

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“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 or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity,” he said.

He specifically focused on his passion for animal rights and how society often plunders the natural world for its resources without regard for who it impacts.

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But despite his powerful speech, Joaquin says had a difficult time making himself do it at all.

“I did not want to get up anywhere and do anything. I was not excited about the opportunity. It’s just not who I am. I was full of fear,” Joaquin told The Sunday Times.

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He continued, “I was in that situation and there was a part of me that just wanted to say, ‘Thanks so much, great, goodnight.’ But I felt like I had to…If I’m up here, I can’t just thank my mom.”

Craig Sjodin / ABC via Getty Images

Even though Joaquin was initially hesitant about the speech, it ended up bringing him great opportunities, like chance to work with Victor Kossakovsky on his acclaimed documentary Gunda.

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