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    Joaquin Phoenix Was "Not Excited" About Accepting His 2020 Oscar For Best Actor

    "I was not excited about the opportunity."

    Joaquin Phoenix may have given an incredibly impassioned speech at the 2020 Academy Awards — but he really didn't want to.

    Joaquin wears sunglasses and a tux on the Oscars red carpet
    Steve Granitz / WireImage / Via Getty Images

    You may remember that when he stepped onstage to accept the award for Best Actor for his role in Joker, he actually asked the crowd to stop cheering for him.

    The Academy Awards/Giphy / Via

    He went on to make a speech touching on the "distressing issues" the world is facing and how the causes individuals are fighting for can actually be a unifying factor for all of humanity.

    Joaquin looks serious while speaking on stage
    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    "Whether we're talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we're talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity," he said.

    He specifically focused on his passion for animal rights and how society often plunders the natural world for its resources without regard for who it impacts.

    Joaquin looks serious while speaking onstage
    Arturo Holmes / ABC via Getty Images

    But despite his powerful speech, Joaquin says he had a difficult time making himself do it at all.

    The Academy Awards/Giphy / Via

    "I did not want to get up anywhere and do anything. I was not excited about the opportunity. It's just not who I am. I was full of fear," Joaquin told the Sunday Times.

    Joaquin stands backstage after accepting his award
    Amy Sussman / Getty Images

    He continued, "I was in that situation and there was a part of me that just wanted to say, 'Thanks so much, great, goodnight.' But I felt like I had to... If I'm up here, I can't just thank my mom."

    Joaquin speaks to the audience during the ceremony
    Craig Sjodin / ABC via Getty Images

    Even though Joaquin was initially hesitant about the speech, it ended up bringing him great opportunities, like the chance to work with Victor Kossakovsky on his acclaimed documentary Gunda.

    Listen to all that Joaquin had to say in his acceptance speech below.

    View this video on YouTube

    ABC / Via

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