He seemed set to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars when he received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role as rookie cop Jake Hoyt on " Training Day " in 2001, but Ethan Hawke is far from comfortable with the privileges that bestows success . In the years that followed, he chose smaller, more satisfying projects over possible box office hits. He found himself nominated in the same category more than a decade later when he teamed up with Richard Linklater for the drama “ Boyhood,” which he shot for 12 years and 39 days in the making, and again, he refused to capitalize on the publicity hype. When the Guardian asked the actor why he hadn't yet dressed up as a superhero, he replied, "That's not my dream ." But time passed and he changed his mind as he will be the villain in Marvel's "Moon Knight" series for Disney + .
After the success of "The Dead Poets Society" (1989) , his life took an upward course. But he was smart and he acted swiftly: he walked away from the underworld of drugs and alcohol that other peers of his generation fell into. “I know how hard it is to turn that attention into anything other than self-destruction.”
His love affair with Uma Thurman made him a character in the press of the heart. But for Hawke, who seeks to transcend with his art and avoid being famous for extra-work issues, it was lethal. He once declared that it was very difficult for him to be married "to a movie star ." He couldn't handle it and ended up living in a hotel for two years.
For the new generations, he is the father of Maya Hawke , one of the promises of cinema who at only 22 years old has already worked under the orders of Tarantino- ex-boyfriend of his famous mother- and part of the Netflix hit, "Stranger Things." “ Maya, who was always an artist, is writing poems, composing songs. One of the most beautiful moments of my life was seeing her act, ”said the actor when talking about his eldest daughter.
He grew up surrounded by Republicans, but he was always on the opposite side of the street. Look for projects that worry you, and others that help you pay the bills. He doesn't work for the money, he says. It is honest and far from being politically correct. For him nothing has changed in the industry. If you ask him about it, he talks about inequality and machismo, despite the fact that many want to show something else: “The idea that Hollywood is no longer a boys' club is simply not true. I made 50 movies and was directed by a woman twice. I have three daughters and that is why I see misogyny more clearly than ever ”.
Hawke loves his job, but he also suffers from it. “I feel that there is a direct relationship with the amount of anxiety that is in my body, with the number of people that I have around me. I am an actor at my core. I really enjoy making people happy, telling stories, but it's tiring. I usually feel better when I'm alone. ”
The four-time Oscar nominee married Ryan Shawhughes in 2008, the babysitter who was accused of being responsible for the failure of his marriage and with whom he has had two daughters. Since then, they live happily in New York far away and enjoy the private island that Ethan bought off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. As someone who has expressed disdain for frivolity around the celebrity world, it seems odd that Hawke spent a significant sum of money for that kind of indulgence. His relationship with that place dates back to the 1990s, when he began attending writing retreats at a friend's cabin. He explains it better. “ I have friends there and I visited them frequently. An older woman who could no longer take care of her island asked me if I would buy it. A closet in Manhattan costs more than an island in Nova Scotia. So I answered yes. And I'm happy I did. ”
Chemistry with Linklater and Julie Delpy
It was in 1993 when Hawke met Richard Linklater and a creative partnership was born that lasts to this day. Linklater was looking for actors who were willing to "be brutally honest with themselves, with each other and with the process," and as he told The New Yorker : "Ethan was willing to walk the artistic tightrope." Hawke and French actress Julie Delpy ended up rewriting parts of the film that would become "Before Sunrise." And the director knew the first time he saw them together that they would be perfect as lovers Jesse and Céline, who spend a night together in the dazzling city of Vienna after a chance meeting on a train.
"Meeting Julie was like meeting a character in a novel, like Anna Karenina or something like that ," Hawke told The New York Times on the 25th anniversary of the critically acclaimed independent film. “He is a very deep person. I have never felt so American and so dumb in my life . " He learned a lot while filming. Linklater – in the actor's own words – encouraged him to forget everything he thought he knew about acting and to indulge in instinct. "I guess it's about breaking the mask we use for the world and letting the greatest amount of truth seep through the cracks."
At age 50, the actor is experiencing a particular moment of glory after many years planning a career that He has avoided taking the easy path. He is the creator, producer, co-writer and protagonist of “ The Good Lord Bird ” ', a series about the famous American abolitionist John Brown. A television project in which he works with his eldest daughter with whom he will coincide again in a comedy about the Beatles that will be entitled "Revolver".
He is a lucky man and is aware of how lucky he has been: "I think the Most people are good at more things than the world gives them the opportunity to do . With 35 years in the film industry, Hawke has always been known for shunning the easy and passionately exploring new horizons as an artist. He has written four novels and directed three plays on off-Broadway in New York. In addition, it has a Donostia award. You can see that through his veins runs the talent of his great-great-uncle, the playwright Tennessee Williams, author of "A Streetcar Named Desire."
The abandonment of his father
Hawke's dream began with an atypical childhood. Originally from Austin, Texas, he grew up in a religious home where faith played an important role. "He had fans everywhere," the actor once told Reader's Digest. "My response was to pour all that thought into art … That has been the church I chose: movies, books, rock and roll ." He did not come from a family of artists. His mother Leslie was a nurse and his father James worked in insurance, and later as a mathematician. He once even calculated the odds of his son becoming a successful actor.
An only child, Hawke's parents were very young when they brought him into the world in 1970. His dad was 20 years old, while his mother was only 18 They separated when he was only four. Over the next several years , he and his mother moved across the country (Connecticut, Vermont, Georgia) until she finally remarried when he was ten and settled in New Jersey. His father returned to Texas after the split and Hawke would go out of his way to impress him during the rare visits. Speaking to The New Yorker , the actor revealed that he was tirelessly seeking his father's love. “ I wanted him to like me. He knew she was performing for him. He hated me for that. ”
Her relationship with her father continued to be turbulent. Things came to a head when Hawke was 16 years old. Pretending to be one person with his father and one with his mother was taking its toll mentally, and he ended up having a meltdown on a flight home to New Jersey. "When I was young, my father was a hero beyond heroes, because it is very easy to love someone who is not present," said the actor. "And then as I got older, I really resented him and felt totally abandoned." It's no surprise that his first two novels, The Hottest State , which he later adapted for the big screen, and Ash Wednesday , featured characters in broken homes.
Understandably, he sought out a surrogate family on set. When he was 15 years old, he landed his first role opposite River Phoenix in the 1985 film "The Explorers." They became great friends. They even stole and crashed Phoenix's father's motorcycle. Hawke ended up with a broken leg and putting filming on hold. But the public hated the movie. People left the premiere completely disappointed. "They were talking about the shit that the movie was." Hawke was devastated. However, with the passage of time it gained cult status and is considered mandatory material for fans of 80s science fiction.
Four years later, he starred in "The Society of Dead Poets" with Robin Williams. A work that made him popular. With his role in the romantic comedy "Generation X" with Winona Ryder, he earned critical acclaim.
But being one of the boys of the moment was not for him. Hawke's early years in Hollywood were difficult and so he sought stability. A balance she found in her marriage to Thurman when she was 28 years old. “I think from a very young age I longed for it a lot. I wanted a center, something you can build from. That's why I did it. ”
A divorce that led to depression
Ethan Hawke met Uma Thurman, the woman who would become his first wife and the mother of his first two children, on the set of the sci-fi drama "Gattaca" in 1997. A year later they got married and then became parents to Maya and Levon. Everything officially ended between them in 2005, although they had been separated since 2003. It was a divorce that caused a media frenzy over rumors of infidelity on the part of the actor.
Their careers prospered during their marriage but they never knew or could reconcile their jobs with life family. Thurman was on the wave of "Kill Bill," and Hawke was receiving praise for his performance on "Training Day." “With Uma it was a question of mathematics. I was looking for a house, a security, a base, a family in marriage. I was looking for the opposite of what my life was, always exposed to flashes, but I fell in love with someone who only added more flashes to my privacy . Our marriage became the antithesis of what I wanted, ”he explained to the newspaper El País in 2016. Being considered Best Supporting Actor along with Ben Kingsley, Ian McKellen, Jon Voight and Jim Broadbent by the Hollywood Academy was“ the best moment of his career, ”Hawke told GQ magazine four years ago when promoting Paul Schrader's“ First Reformed ”. “ In many ways, it could have been the beginning of something very good. But I got divorced and my personal life fell apart. "
That failure caused him to fall into a deep depression and he lived through one of the worst times of his life. He left the cinema, stayed for two years in the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York to write and when he had his batteries renewed, he returned to the theater. At that time, life as a Hollywood star was also questioned. “When you are so depressed it is very easy to see everything that is false about people and life, and that happened to me . I started to think about the hypocrisy of celebrities, the falsehood of everything "
" It saved me work, theater … and my children. That is the wonderful thing about children, which is that they need you every day, and that gives a balance to your life, you do not become an egocentric person who only turns on his axis, "he said.
His recovery also came from the hand of a shoot, that of "Before Sunset", the second installment of the Linklater trilogy. In his own words, spending that summer in Paris made him reconnect with life. It was a cathartic experience for the actor.
Once divorced, Thurman gave a very emotional interview to the presenter Oprah Winfrey, in which she was very vulnerable and sad about the breakup, and in which she also provided her perspective on the events . "I don't usually talk about this because I think that half the population goes through what I went through, but the truth is that it is very hard," said the "Kill Bill" actress. “Our marriage failed. I should also take my share of the blame, blaming the other person does not do anything good. ”
“ Angelina Jolie was born to make men weak ”
Ethan Hawke does not like being intimate in front of cameras . "People never want to hear this because it destroys fantasy, but it has always been strange to me," he once said. However, strange is not always bad. When Hawke appeared on Watch What Happens Live in 2013, he revealed the name of the actress with whom he shared his best on-screen kiss. It was during the filming of "Other People's Lives , " a 2003 psychological thriller that he starred in alongside Brad Pitt's then-wife.
"The best on-screen kiss I ever had was with Angelina Jolie ," Hawke told host Andy Cohen. “What made it so great? Padded lips, a lot of tongue … ”. When asked for more details, Hawke added: “Angelina Jolie was born to put men down, to make them weak. And when he kisses you, you don't even know your name. "
Critics enjoyed the kiss too, but that was it. The film was a flop and is only 22% popular on the critics site Rotten Tomatoes, where it was described as an “elegant but predictable thriller where the only emotions are offered by the sultry Angelina Jolie.”
Married to the former babysitter of their children and fighting for monogamy
Hollywood history is littered with stories of stars cheating on their partners with their children's babysitter, but according to Ethan Hawke, it wasn't like that between him and Ryan Shawhughes. When the press learned that her marriage to Thurman was collapsing, rumors began to surface that Hawke had been unfaithful to her. Thurman added some fuel to the fire when he sat down with Oprah Winfrey a few months after finalizing their divorce and stated, “ There was some of that in the end. We were going through a difficult time, and you know how people behave to express their unhappiness. "
Hawke vehemently denied that she had broken her wedding vows." Uma and I did not part because of anyone's infidelity, "she insisted, and when The subject came up again in 2019 during an interview with The Guardian , the actor cleared all doubts. “I met Ryan through my literary agent, and she was actually one of Maya and Levon's babysitters while shooting a movie, ” she explained, adding, “ My marriage fell apart due to a lot of pressure, but Ryan didn't. it had nothing to do with it. "
About a year after her split with Thurman, she ran into Shawhughes in a park. “She has always been an extremely level-headed, no-nonsense woman, and I frankly thought that might be good for a madman like me. So when he asked me out, I replied, 'Yes.' The truth is that when Ryan and I fell in love, it had been a long time since I hired her. ”
wasn't looking for a relationship when they met. “I was very cautious during that period of my life and desperately wanted to stay single; I definitely never wanted to get married again. But sometimes life happens to you. Now, I love Ryan tremendously. "
The actor has also been candid about monogamy." There's such a childish view of monogamy and fidelity. It is immediately prejudged, and there is no tendency to analyze that our species is simply not monogamous, "he declared a few years ago in dialogue with Porter magazine. He admitted that he is happy with his wife, but acknowledges that anything can happen in the future. “ Human beings are sexual beings. Sexual fidelity cannot be all that depends on your relationship, " said the actor who has been married to Shawhughes since 2004 and with whom he has two daughters: Clementine and Indiana.