Beautiful vegans Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix have opened up about the birth of their first child in an unexpected essay for People. The notoriously private pair discussed the process of becoming new parents, while delivering a scathing attack on Donald Trump’s border separation policy.
Despite being found illegal by a federal court back in 2018, the policy (which sees the children of asylum seekers as young as one forcibly removed from their parents) has resulted in 545 young children being permanently separated from their parents.
“As new parents, it’s unbearable to imagine what it would feel like to have our child taken away from us for a day, let alone years,” the pair wrote. “But that’s the very situation those 545 children and their parents have been living through. As Americans, it’s our responsibility to continue paying attention to the plight of these families and get answers for why they still have not been located.”
Mara and Phoenix welcomed their son at an undisclosed date around September of this year, touchingly naming him River, after Phoenix’s late brother. The pair first met in 2013 on the set of Her, but only ignited a romance after re-uniting to shoot Mary Magdalene in 2017. They revealed their engagement in early 2019. Phoenix famously revealed that he thought Mara “despised him” on the set of Her, only to later find out that she was simply shy, and liked him too.
The couple finished their essay by imploring readers to demand their elected representatives take the process of reunification more seriously.
“How will it feel to explain to our son, when he asks us about this time and how we treated scared, defenseless children, some of whom may never see their parents again?” they wrote. “For the sake of our nation’s character, I hope we will be able to tell him that America unequivocally rejected this cruelty and demanded that our representatives did everything in their power to find those missing parents.”
You can read their full essay here.