In this weekend's "The Master," Joaquin Phoenix stars alongside Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a religious drama about a mentor who begins to question the motives and beliefs of his organization's leader. It's another Weinstein-produced film that could rack up tons of honors in the upcoming awards season.
Phoenix himself is no stranger to golden trophies. He picked up a Golden Globe for his performance as Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line," a role that also garnered him an Academy Award nomination. It seems pretty darn hard to pick a favorite film that Phoenix, who dabbled with retirement in a brief moment of madness, has made over the last 26 years. From indies like "Inventing the Abbotts" to blockbusters like "Gladiator," it's no question why his career has lasted so long in Hollywood.
Back when he was still going by Leaf — a pseudonym he picked out for himself to blend in with the nature-related names of some of his brothers and sisters (Summer, the late River, Rain ...) — the actor got his start with a few bit parts on television shows and in made-for-TV movies. His big-screen break came in 1986 with "SpaceCamp" ... which was probably good preparation for the flying he did some years later when he appeared on the "The Adventures of Superboy."
While still paving the path to success, Phoenix played Billy Hercules in one episode of the television show based on Superman's youth. Taking flight to battle school bullies, Billy destroys the bad guys with laser-beam eyes and killer breath — and even gets to impress a pretty girl in the end. Of course, it was all a dream for the young wannabe superhero, but we can't help but believe how amazing this clip is from the show.