Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have welcomed their son. - Media Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock

Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix Welcome Baby Son ‘Named River’

The vegan actors chose their child's name in honor of Phoenix's late brother, River

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2 Minutes Read

Following the recent birth of their first son, Rooney Mara and her partner Joaquin Phoenix have publicly discussed parenthood for the first time.

The pregnancy was kept quiet, but it’s believed the vegan couple welcomed the child, called River, in September, 2020.

His name is a tribute to the Joker star’s older brother, who died from an overdose in 1993, at age 23.

Rooney and Joaquin have a baby

Documentary film director Victor Kossakovsky revealed the news about the couple’s baby at the Zurich Film Festival on September 27, 2020.

This followed a screening of the documentary Gunda which Joaquin Phoenix executive produced.

During the Q&A, Kossakovy apoologized for Phoenix’s absence.

He said: “[Joaquin] just had a baby, by the way, his name was… a beautiful son called River, so he cannot promote [the film] right now.”

The news that the couple were expecting a baby first circulated in May. Celebrity news site Page Six cited a source who said Rooney Mara “may be as far as six months along in her pregnancy.”

The publication reported that the couple – who often engage in vegan advocacy together and separately – first met in 2013, on the set of Spike Jonze film Her. They reportedly began dating in 2018 after acting together in the movie Mary Magdalene.

Speaking about parenthood

Mara and Phoenix have broken their silence on their newfound parent status, in an op-ed for People.

The couple penned a piece about children who’ve been separated from their families at the US-Mexico border.

Their article followed reports that 545 of these childrens’ parents have not been found.

They wrote: “The weight of that number is staggering. Five hundred forty-five children.

“As new parents, it’s unbearable to imagine what it would feel like to have our child taken away from us for a day, let alone years. But that’s the very situation those 545 children and their parents have been living through.”

They added: “We have to ask ourselves: Is this the country that we want? Are these our values? 

“How will it feel to explain to our son, when he asks us about this time and how we treated scared, defenceless children, some of whom may never see their parents again?”

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The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

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