Summer Phoenix Builds Acting Career

Mon Feb 25, 7:26 AM ET

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NEW YORK (AP) - Say hello to the latest acting Phoenix: Summer Phoenix.

Phoenix, little sister of the late River Phoenix ("Sneakers") and Joaquin Phoenix ("Gladiator"), is building a budding movie career in the shadow of her siblings.

Summer's latest work is "Ester Kahn," the story of a young woman living with her Jewish immigrant family in London at the end of the 19th century. It is directed by Arnaud Desplechin.

"Riv really worked on things that spoke to him, and so does Joaq," she told the Daily News in Sunday's editions, referring to her older brothers.

In 1993, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles at age 23. Acting in his shadow is something both she and Joaquin have had to deal with.

"I know I'm going to be asked about that, and I feel I don't owe anybody anything," Summer Phoenix said. "Anybody can ask me anything they want, and either I'm going to answer if I feel comfortable, or I'm not."

The 24-year-old actress' other roles include "The Laramie Project," about the aftermath of a gay college student in Wyoming, and "The Believer," where she played a Jewish neo-Nazi's girlfriend.