The Joker star and his fiancée first crossed paths on the set of Spike Jonze’s 2012 flick Her. Looking back on his initial interactions with Mara, who played his ex-wife in the Oscar-winning film, Phoenix admitted to Vanity Fair in October 2019 that he was convinced Mara “despised” him. Eventually, he realized that the Carol star was interested in him but too shy to express it.
“She’s the only girl I ever looked up on the internet,” Phoenix explained at the time. “We were just friends, email friends. I’d never done that. Never looked up a girl online.”
The private pair made their first public appearance as an item in May 2017 at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Four months later, the Gladiator star told the New York Times that he and Mara were living together in the Hollywood Hills. Phoenix gave the publication a glimpse at life inside their home, admitting that the couple likes to spend their days exercising, studying lines and watching true crime documentaries on Netflix.
Nearly two years later, Mara sparked rumors of an engagement when she was seen wearing a diamond ring while out and about in Los Angeles. The photos came shortly after an insider told Us Weekly that the pair had no plans on tying the knot any time soon.
“They’re never going to get married because they think marriage is too mainstream,” the source said in July 2018, even though they were “so in love” and supported each other’s lifestyle choices. “Joaquin transforms all his girlfriends into being holistic, vegan, spiritual and into saving the world.”
Despite their apparent disinterest in the institution of marriage, Us confirmed in July 2019 that Phoenix had gotten down on one knee. Since their engagement news made headlines, Mara has stood happily by her soon-to-be husband’s side through film premieres, political rallies and awards seasons.
Scroll down to take a closer look at Mara and Phoenix’s private romance!