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Joaquin Phoenix had no idea he had won at Cannes Film Festival gala

Joaquin Phoenix was caught off-guard as he was named Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday (28May17) because he had no idea what was going on.
The Gladiator star was celebrated at the French festival’s closing gala for his performance as a tormented war veteran who tries to save a girl from a sex trafficking ring in Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, but he initially kept the audience waiting after failing to realise his name had been called.
In video footage of the ceremony, which is conducted in French, Phoenix is featured staying in his seat after being named the winner of his category, before turning to his girlfriend, actress Rooney Mara, and appearing to mouth, “Do I have to go up there?”.
He eventually rushes up to the stage to accept his prize, and pokes fun at his wardrobe after having to team his tuxedo with a pair of Converse sneakers.
“This was totally unexpected, as you can see from my shoes,” he smiled. “I don’t wear leather and my (formal) shoes were sent home on the plane!”
Joaquin later explained his confusion about French protocol in the lead up to his big moment, claiming other people around him were already on their feet before the Best Actor winner was announced.
“I thought it would be really f**ked up if I went up onstage and they were like, ‘No, no you don’t have to go up,'” he recalled during the post-awards press conference. “It sounds naive to say it now. Like, of course you go up.”
But the actor was even more surprised by the win because he didn’t think Cannes critics would even like the movie.
“Before I came here, I told my girlfriend it was going to be a really good experience because I was going to get crushed and that would be really humbling,” he shared. “I thought it would be great to know what it’s like to be unanimously disliked. That was my expectation coming here, so this (win) is, um, better.”
The Cannes event marked the first time Phoenix and Mara had attended an awards show as a couple, after rumours of a romance first surfaced in January (17).
The longtime friends reportedly became romantically involved last year (16) after filming forthcoming biblical epic Mary Magdalene, in which Mara, 32, portrays the titular character and Joaquin, 42, plays Jesus Christ.

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