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Joaquin Phoenix grew up in California. After featuring in a number of films, his career took off after his performance as a Roman emperor in Ridley Scott's "Gladiator". The part won him an Oscar nomination. Despire his subsequent popularity, he continued to accept parts in independent movies, such as Thomas Vinterberg's "Its All About Love" from 2003, where he played opposite Sean Penn. He was again nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in the hit movie "Walk The Line" from 2005. He subsequently returned to independent cinema with films such as "Two Lovers" from 2008 with Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2010 he stunned the world with the mockumentary "I'm Still Here" about his ficticious change of career to become a rap musician. The film was directed by Casey Affleck.