Going into this year’s Oscars, there was a lot of buzz around speeches, specifically those that would be delivered by Phoenix and Brad Pitt, who took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Phoenix took the win over actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Adam Driver.
Joaquin Phoenix 2020 Academy Award Acceptance Speech
Phoenix won his first Oscar tonight. It was his fourth overall nomination.
“Hi, so, hi,” he said. “I’m feeling so much gratitude right now.”
He said he did not feel elevated above anyone in the room because they all share the same love of film.
The gift he was given, he said, was the opportunity to use his voice for the voiceless. He said that at times people are made to feel that they’re championing different causes, but he sees commonality in all of them: the fight against injustice and the belief that one type of person or species has the right to exploit another.
“I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” he said. He went on to talk about his beliefs as a vegan, speaking about using love and compassion as guiding lights in life for “all sentient beings and for the environment.”
“I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance,” he said to the room, urging everyone to “guide one another toward redemption.”
Phoenix and Pitt Delivered Memorable Speeches Throughout Award Season
Pitt has effectively established himself as the “class clown” of the award shows, using his platform to joke about his Tinder Profile, his status as a bad husband, and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino’s alleged foot fetish. He also takes shots at Leonardo DiCaprio, his Best Actor-nominated costar. Pitt gave a more grounded, serious speech during the Academy Awards, even tearing up at one point.
Phoenix, on the other hand, has used his platform to talk about issues important to him. During his Golden Globes speech, Phoenix called for action on Climate Change, saying he didn’t want to rock the boat. He thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for offering a plant-based menu. He went along the same subject for his Critics’ Choice Awards Speech.
During last week’s BAFTA’s, Phoenix called out systematic racism after thanking the British Academy for supporting his career.
“I have to say that I also feel conflicted, because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege,” he said. “I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from.”