Ethan Hawke has led many imaginative lives. At the age of 18, “Dead Poet’s Society” made him a star and at the age of 24, “Reality Bites” made him a Gen X icon. When the enduring romantic trilogy “Before Sunrise” began, he was 25 years old. “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” would follow him for the following 18 years and turn him into a screenwriter.
The actor spoke in-depth with IndieWire about his uncomfortable relationship with celebrity as well as the inspiration behind his new docuseries, “The Last Movie Stars.” Ethan Hawke also admitted that he’s at the beginning of the end for his acting career.
I’ve definitely made the turn from being an old young person to being a young old person. I prefer this. I feel like playing John Brown in “The Good Lord Bird” was that for me: the beginning of my “old man” career, the beginning of my last act. But it’s the beginning of it, you know? I definitely find myself looking over a filmography and thinking about which ones I could’ve cut out because I only have so much time left. I know I only have so many movies left. You have an awareness of time. When I was younger, I was like, “I’ll do this, I’ll do that, that’ll be a good learning experience, and then I’ll try this,” thinking I had all the time in the world. Now, I’m like, “I didn’t learn anything from that one or that one, and that one would’ve been better spent in three months with my family.”
He started directing a long time ago in 2001 with “Chelsea Walls”, and two decades later, he still identifies as both an actor and a creator. Hawke became a showrunner for the Showtime series “The Good Lord Bird” in 2020. In his latest HBO Max docuseries, “The Last Movie Stars,” Hawke focuses on the enigmatic romance and careers of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, though he might just as easily be the topic.
Although the streamer promotes Hawke’s 380-minute effort as a six-part series, Hawke prefers to refer to it as a single film. Whatever its definition, the end result is Hawke’s most tender and sympathetic work for the camera, as well as a reflection on his own complex relationship with celebrity and artistic ambition. Hawke is the kind of affable New York character who blends in even when he is noticed.
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