The two had been longtime friends after meeting on the set of the 1995 movie To Die For

By Helen Murphy
October 04, 2019 01:22 PM
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Joaquin Phoenix is explaining the current state of his relationship with Casey Affleck.

According to a recent profile of Phoenix in Vanity Fair, the longtime friends first met on the set of the 1995 film To Die For, once lived in the same building in New York, and have matching tattoos that they got together in Italy. Affleck, 44, was also married to Phoenix’s sister Summer Phoenix from 2006 to 2017.

In his interview with Vanity Fair, the Joker star said that he hasn’t spoken to Affleck “in many years.”

“My sister and him divorced,” Phoenix, 44, told the outlet. “And I haven’t spoken directly to him or indirectly in a long time. Three or four years.”

In 2010, the two collaborated on the movie I’m Still Here, a mockumentary film directed by Affleck that followed a caricatured version of Phoenix. Two sexual harassment lawsuits were filed against Affleck in 2010 by two women who worked with him on I’m Still Here. Affleck has denied the allegations, and settled the suits out of court for undisclosed amounts. In the settlement, Affleck did not admit any guilt. He and his accusers are barred from discussing details of the case.

Phoenix similarly did not discuss the allegations with Vanity Fair, but told the magazine that he did not witness sexual misconduct himself.

Joaquin Phoenix; Casey Affleck
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic; Brian Dowling/WireImage
Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix
Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty

Phoenix is currently earning Oscar buzz for his starring role in the new movie Joker. In the comic book origin story, the actor plays Arthur Fleck, a man who eventually becomes the titular villain and foil to Batman.

On Thursday night, Phoenix and the movie’s director Todd Phillips surprised fans at a New York City screening of Joker.While the film has received controversy for its graphic violence, John DeVore, the editor in chief of Humungus who was present at the screening, told PEOPLE the crowd stood and gave the two men a standing ovation after the film finished playing.

Phoenix looked happy as he and Phillips smiled and told the crowd it was their first screening of the night.

“The audience was thrilled to see both of them,” DeVore told PEOPLE. “They seemed to love the movie, and I doubt Philips and Phoenix could have received a warmer welcome.”

Joker is in theaters now.