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Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix Are ‘Closer’ After Son’s Birth, Have ‘Talked About’ Baby No. 2 (Exclusive)

Their most exciting roles yet! Months after welcoming their first child, son River, Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix are “embracing parenthood very well,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively.

Related: Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix’s Relationship Timeline

“River has enhanced their lives more than they’ve ever imagined and has brought them closer together,” the insider adds. “They’re a very private couple and want River to have a normal, healthy upbringing.”

Us confirmed in May 2020 that Mara, 36, was “about six months” pregnant. News broke of their son’s arrival four months later, when Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky explained why Phoenix, 46, didn’t attend a screening of the documentary Gunda, which he executive produced.

“He just got a baby, by the way, his name was … a beautiful son called River, so he cannot promote it now,” the director said during a Q&A at the 2020 Zurich Film Festival.

Why Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix Want to Raise Son 'Out of the Spotlight'
Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix. Camilla Morandi/Shutterstock

The little one’s name is a tribute to the Oscar winner’s late brother, River Phoenix, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 in 1993 and has always been one of Joaquin’s biggest inspirations.

“Through my brother and his understanding and appreciation of that kind of acting I think it just awakened something in me and I suddenly could see it through his eyes,” the Walk the Line star said during a rare interview on 60 Minutes in January 2020.

Joaquin and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actress have kept their relationship relatively under wraps since they were first linked in 2016. When it comes to raising their son, they plan to stay equally as private.

Related: Most Unique Celebrity Kids' Names

“They feel strongly about raising him out of the spotlight and feel they will let him decide once he’s older if he’d like to follow in their path as an actor,” the insider tells Us of the couple, who have been “very hands-on” since welcoming River.

Despite their busy schedules, the pair have adjusted to parenthood seamlessly — and are already considering expanding their family even more.

“They’ve talked about having another baby but are hoping for it to be sooner than later — within the next year or so,” the source says. “Rooney feels very blessed to be so close with her sister Kate [Mara] that she’d like for River to have a special bond with his future sibling.”

The Her costars are far from the traditional couple, and while Us confirmed their engagement in July 2019, they may not be walking down the aisle any time soon.

Related: Joaquin Phoenix's Sweetest Quotes About Late Brother River Phoenix

“They’re still planning on getting married but wedding plans are still TBD,” the source explains.

Motherhood has taken a front-and-center role in Rooney’s life, which she described eloquently in a letter supporting Farm Sanctuary’s Mother’s Day campaign. “Raising our baby, River, has opened my heart to a whole new life filled with hope and more determination than ever to create a kinder and more sustainable world,” she wrote. “I feel so fortunate to be able to nurture my son in all of the ways that nature intended, and I wish all mothers in the animal kingdom could experience that sacred maternal bond with their young, devoid of exploitation by humans.”

Before sparking a romance with the Carol actress, the Joker star dated Liv Tyler from 1995 to 1998 and model Topaz Page-Green from 2001 to 2005.

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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