I have never felt as ugly as when looking at River. Like James Dean, he died within the dew of post-adolescence—a favored era for mythmakers—but this is where the comparisons end.
Dean shrugged and squinted as though trying to slough his skin; River faced us with squared shoulders and wide eyes.
in fact, if I see my face on the cover of a magazine I go into remission.
Journalist Gavin Edwards interviewed Phoenix's friends and peers to build a picture of the man behind the camera lens, and the result is an upsetting yet fascinating story.
Read an exclusive excerpt below, and afterwards, we won't blame you if you get the sudden urge to pop in It ends outside a nightclub called the Viper Room, on a Hollywood sidewalk.
We heard that he convulsed for over five minutes, that his sister Rain tried mouth-to-mouth and threw herself onto his seizing body while his brother Joaquin, née Leaf, called 911.
We heard Johnny Depp was nearby, along with Flea and Christina Applegate and Samantha Mathis and the lead singer from the to a brooding 90s type with Seattle hair and insane cheekbones—and seen his cheekbones becoming uncomfortably prominent in a manner suggesting addiction.
But River accepted his rising star reluctantly, happy that he could help his family by bringing home a paycheck.