River Phoenix conducted an extensive, multi-day interview with MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO director Gus Van Sant that originaly appeared in 'Interview' magazine in March 1991. This interview was re-published in full in the first edition of the 'Projections' annual in 1992, edited by John Boorman.
He and his brother Joaquin Phoenix are the first brothers to be nominated for acting Academy Awards.
Often drank warm soda, such as Coke or Dr. Pepper, before going on camera.
Claimed he had a vision of his future wife and would meet and marry her in 2002. He carried a composite sketch of what he thought she'd look like.
Was of Spanish and Russian-Hungarian heritage, and could speak fluently in spanish.
Was an involved environmentalist and bought up several hundred acres of rain forest in Costa Rica and Brazil, not to develop them, but to just keep them so they would not be cut down.
The story is apocryphal that River's last words were supposedly (to the reporter trying to help him outside the Viper Room) were "No paparazzi, I want anonymity", although the quote has become something of an urban legend. In fact, according to witnesses (which included a nearby paparazzo), River stumbled out of the nightclub and fell hard, face-first, onto the sidewalk (experts believed he likely died at that moment) before spasming violently against the pavement for eight minutes, never having uttered a word. And while that photographer chose not to capture that moment on film, the day before Phoenix's cremation in Florida, a reporter broke into the funeral home, rearranged the body, and took a picture. This picture was later to be sold to the National Enquirer for $5,000.
He disliked flying and traveled everywhere by car or by train.
Phoenix had a lazy left eye. This caused him to flutter and blink in order to center the iris. This action is visible in most of his performances. It is most apparent in 'Silent Tongue'(1994), in which he did not attempt to take charge of it at all; feeling that the quality added to the madness of his character.