It may come as a surprise to many that Joaquin Phoenix spent his early years living in South and Central America. However, if you did know that little tidbit of knowledge, you might be wondering if Joaquin can speak Spanish.
Joaquin Phoenix is of Hispanic roots and can speak both English and Spanish. While he doesn’t regularly practice speaking Spanish, he keeps the language alive by regularly travelling through Latin America and reading books in the Spanish language.
Interestingly, Joaquin Phoenix was born in Puerto Rico. He spent his first couple of years living in Latin America before eventually ending up in Miami. He grew up with both the Spanish and the English language and some even speculate that Spanish was his first language.
Joaquin Phoenix is Puerto Rican
Joaquin’s family moved around a lot when he was young. His parents were missionaries for the Children of God religious cult and while his mother and father were from New York and California, respectively, they ended up in Latin America.
Joaquin was born on October 28, 1974 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The family moved regularly through South and Central America—which is actually why they changed their last name from Bottom. Phoenix was chosen instead to celebrate their consistent “new beginnings” after every move.
Travels around Latin America
After Puerto Rico, Joaquin spent time in Venezuela before the family eventually left the cult to move to Miami, Florida. The Spanish language was spoken pretty consistently throughout these moves and later again, after Joaquin’s parents separated and he went to Mexico with his father.
In his adult life, Joaquin has continued to enjoy regularly travelling to Latin America.
Joaquin and the Spanish Language
Joaquin has been enthralled with the Spanish culture for much of his life. The actor appreciates the fact that he was brought up bilingually, and has a deep respect for his knowledge of the Spanish language.
He also looks back on his time in Puerto Rico quite fondly. He remembers his family having a lot of fun when during the time they lived in Puerto Rico, and again as they travelled through South and Central America.
Joaquin has also stated that he loves Spanish culture. He enjoys spending time in Miami, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico. While he’s on the set, he always tries to practice his spanish with anyone who can speak the language or any other Spanish-speaking actors.
When he’s not on set, Joaquin Phoenix touches up on his Spanish by reading books written in the language. In an interview, he included a few of his recent reads: El Olvido Que Seremos and Lorca.
So, yes. Not only is Joaquin Phoenix a talented and passionate actor, but he also has the Spanish language under his belt, too.