Joaquin Phoenix Almost Set Himself on Fire Before Checking Into Rehab

The ‘Joker’ actor reveals he finally sought help from his addiction after he was saved from a car explosion by director Werner Herzog following a car accident.

AceShowbizJoaquin Phoenix checked into rehab after director Werner Herzog highlighted his reckless ways following a near-death car crash.

The “Joker” star admits he was drinking heavily and partying following the success of his Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” 15 years ago, and beginning to lose control.

“I wasn’t engaging with the world or myself in the way I wanted to,” he tells GQ. “I was being an idiot, running around, drinking, trying to screw people, going to stupid clubs.”

Then, one night, the actor flipped his car during a drive around Los Angeles and was waiting on the side of the road, by the wreckage, about to light a cigarette, when German filmmaker Herzog intervened.

“A German voice said, ‘Just relax,’ ” Phoenix recalls, explaining the director pointed out the car was leaking petrol and Joaquin was seconds away from potentially lighting himself on fire.

He entered a treatment facility days later and now the Oscar winner has no desire to drink like he used to and follow tragic brother, River Phoenix, to an early grave.

“There’s too many things I enjoy doing and I don’t want to wake up feeling hungover,” he added. “It’s not a thing I fight against, it’s just the way I live my life.”

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