Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky announced the couple’s happy news during a Q&A at the 2020 Zurich Film Festival on Sunday, September 27, following a screening of the documentary Gunda, which Phoenix executive produced.
The director explained why the Oscar winner was not present, saying, “He just got a baby, by the way, his name was … a beautiful son called River, so he cannot promote it now.”
The couple have named their baby boy after Phoenix’s late older brother, actor River Phoenix, who died in 1993 at the age of 23 of a drug overdose.
Us Weekly confirmed in May that the couple were expecting baby No. 1. “Rooney is about six months along,” a source told Us at the time. “Joaquin is great and has been accompanying her to appointments.”
The actress’ pregnancy news came nearly a year after Us broke the news that Mara, 35, and the Joker star, 45, were engaged. The New York native was first seen sporting a large diamond ring in May 2019.
“They don’t really like to go out,” an insider told Us of the private pair at the time. “They mainly just like to be with each other as the two of them. They’re in their own bubble.”
The Mary Magdalene stars were first linked in 2016. While they are notoriously private about their relationship, Phoenix gushed about the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star in October 2019.
“She’s the only girl I ever looked up on the internet,” the Golden Globe winner told Vanity Fair. “We were just friends, email friends. I’d never done that. Never looked a girl up online.”
One month prior, the Gladiator actor shared is unique nickname for his fiancée while accepting his People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The actor addressed his Her costar in his September 2019 speech, saying, “One last thing, 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.”
He shouted out Mara at the Golden Globes that same year. While accepting his award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama for his titular Joker role, Phoenix looked at the Ghost Story star and whispered, “I love you.” He then wiped away tears.
The Oscar winner previously dated actress Liv Tyler from 1995 to 1998 and model Topaz Page-Green from 2001 to 2005.
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