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Herzog: ‘I’m no hero for Phoenix rescue’

Herzog was asked to recall his heroics after a speeding Phoenix smashed his car outside the filmmaker’s Hollywood home while promoting his new movie My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done and wanted to make it clear he didn’t save the Walk The Line star’s life.

He revealed, “I saw only one person, upside down. He had deployed the airbags and I recognised it was Joaquin Phoenix and it was clear I couldn’t get him out through the window and, in the moment I diverted my attention away from him, he had picked up a cigarette and he tried to light the cigarette.

“He was not really aware that gasoline was dribbling throughout the car, so I confiscated the cigarette lighter and I crushed the rear window and got him out.

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“He wanted to thank me but I didn’t want to make a big fuss. I didn’t save anyone’s life – Joaquin got away without injuries. I just stopped him from lighting the cigarette.”

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