As he looked at me sheepishly, he said, "They have no idea it's me." Then it dawned on me the boy they were screaming for (River! I spoke with director Peter Bogdanovich about the making of his film and those last horrible days after Phoenix died.Nicki Richesin: In 1993, you directed an incredibly charming film with River Phoenix and then relatively unknown stars Sandra Bullock and Dermot Mulroney.I met Phoenix once on tour with his band Aleka's Attic in a derelict underground club in Knoxville, Tennessee.During a pre-show sound check, the crowd chanted, "River! " I noticed a scruffy urchin with faint Spanish moss covering his cheeks. I was so shocked I could hardly speak, but in those few moments I glimpsed a private hidden person, a young man who craved anonymity, but felt compelled to perform for his admiring public, just as he had as a child on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. With his last movie that he starred in and completed, Phoenix stole the show as a sweet young man named James Wright trying to make it as a country music singer in Nashville.Since then, Samantha has remained silent about the harrowing events of that fateful Halloween night of October 1993 and the effect it has had on her life.She has simply got on with her acting career, with appearances in films like Little Women, Jack and Sarah and The American President, while keeping a low personal profile and steering clear of intterviews.
He says, "That was so soulful" and it kind of breaks your heart to hear him utter this phrase.You cast River Phoenix as a wayward kid- a kind of bad-boy-trying-to-turn-good in James Wright.What originally drew you to River as the lead and how did you find working with him on your film?When we landed, Bob told me he wasn't sure, but he had just heard that River had died. NR: What do you think River Phoenix's legacy will be?