Joaquin Phoenix, star of the most profitable comic book movie of all time “Joker,” has been named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) Person of the Year 2019 for his continuous support of animal rights.

The 45-year-old actor has been a vegan since the age of three and has been a supporter of the animal rights organization for a long time now. In a press release obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, the organization applauded the “You Were Never Really Here” star for his commitment to supporting the animal rights and showing compassion for other life forms.

The press statement further added that Phoenix never misses an opportunity to take the spotlight away from himself and put it onto the animals’ “plight.” He has set a great example of how people should have empathy for animals.

The press release concluded by noticing that PETA is really “proud” to start the awards season by honoring Phoenix’s dedication in showing that when it comes to “feeling” pain, a human being is “no” different from a hen or a hamster.

“PETA is proud to kick off awards season by honoring his dedication to showing everyone that when it comes to feeling fear, pain, and love, a human being is no different from a hen or a hamster,” the organization said.

In 2016, the actor said no to “wool suits” while doing a campaign for PETA.

The “Gladiator” star joins the elite list of people who have won this prestigious accolade, which includes the likes of Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and Anjelica Huston.

In related news, there were various reports that “Joker” director Todd Phillips has met the officials at Warner Bros. and is reportedly working on a sequel to the movie. But all the reports came down tumbling when Phillips clarified that it is highly unlikely for people to see a sequel to “Joker.”

In a recent interview, the “Hangover” helmer admitted that he and Phoenix did talk about the sequel. The Warner Bros. executives have also been asking them to give it a thought, but they don’t even have a contract stating that they can even “write” a script for the sequel and the “Village” star has not been approached for a second film as well.  

The reports of the sequel have been making rounds since the time “Joker” crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office and also became the first-ever R-rated movie to achieve this feat.