NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t



Joaquin Phoenix started his acting career in 1982, when he was about 8, on an episode of the TV series Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. (His brother, the late River Phoenix, was a regular in the series.) He tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that he still vividly remembers his first time on a set. “I remember feeling like I was buzzing, like my whole body was vibrating, because it was just so exciting to experience this thing that wasn’t real but at moments felt like it was real,” he says. “It’s basically the feeling that I’ve been chasing ever since.” Phoenix doesn’t give many interviews, so curious fans thought the 2010 documentary, I’m Still Here — in which Phoenix said he was giving up acting to become a hip-hop artist — provided some insight into his life. But it turned out to be a mockumentary. Phoenix stars in the new movie Her, which is nominated for an Oscar for best picture. The film is set slightly in the future and Phoenix plays a man who is heartbroken because his wife recently left him. The hole in his life is soon filled by the voice of the new operating system on his phone. It’s the first OS with artificial intelligence, designed to respond to your needs and personality as it gets to know you. Samantha, the voice of this operating system, is played by Scarlett Johansen. She becomes so responsive to him that he falls in love with her — and their relationship becomes just as complicated as any human one. MORE

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