Date: 5th January 2001
Film director PETER BOGDANOVICH has sensationally revealed that RIVER PHOENIX's drug habit was the talk of the set of THE THING CALLED LOVE, the late star's last film.
Phoenix, 23, died of a massive drugs overdose on Hallowe'en 1993 outside the VIPER ROOM, a club part-owned by JOHNNY DEPP, on Hollywood Boulevard.
Bogdanovich who romanced tragic PLAYBOY Playmate DOROTHY STRATTEN says that Phoenix had boundless talent, but a propensity for delving into - and almost becoming - the characters he played. The director approached Phoenix during filming when talk of the actor's possible drug use began. Phoenix denied having a drugs problem claiming that he "didn't even eat meat".
Phoenix played a country singer trying to make it in Nashville in the 1993 film, which co-starred SAMANTHA MATHIS, DERMOT MULRONEY and SANDRA BULLOCK. Bogdanovich says, "The irony was that the more brilliantly convincing River was in playing a self-involved, arrogant, drug- savvy, talented singer-songwriter, the more people believed that was River." (PDD/WNWA)