Ethan Hawke could have been Batman, says Ethan Hawke


As I mentioned before in the Uma Thurman post, Ethan Hawke has a new interview in Details Magazine. Now, I have a shameful crush on Ethan. It’s a relatively new development, as in… he did nothing for me during the period of time when everyone else thought he was ratty-hot, circa Reality Bites. I HATED Reality Bites. And I’ve always known that Ethan is heavy with the douche, but somehow, over the past few years, he’s just suddenly become really hot to me. So this new interview, while self-aggrandizing and eye-roll-inducing, is also kind of hot (to me). Basically, this is how I feel: “Ethan is so full of himself. I love him.”

DETAILS: You’ve acted in about two movies a year since 1985. Do you go nuts when you’re not working?
Ethan Hawke: You’re not even counting the theater! There aren’t many serious actors from my generation who’ve done as much theater as I have, and who have also published a couple of books, and who have also had four kids. I’ve always felt restless. Perennially, chronically unsatisfied. One of the reasons I do other things is so I can keep up the quality of what I do. If I didn’t write and act in plays, I would have been in, like, a hundred movies by now, and probably 97 of them would have sucked.

DETAILS: You appeared in your first feature, a sci-fi movie called Explorers, at 14, alongside River Phoenix. What was it like starting your career that young?
Ethan Hawke: I would actively encourage people not to do that. You’re thinking like a professional before you know yourself as a human being. The real job of an artist is bigger than being successful, and young people can’t see that yet. The road is littered with casualties. Look at River. He was one of the most talented actors of my generation, and then he’s dead on Sunset Boulevard.

DETAILS: You’ve said you envy Philip Seymour Hoffman’s career, the way he didn’t get precipitously famous.
Ethan Hawke: Phil and I came to New York around the same time, and he doesn’t let go of any scene. I think it comes from years of having smaller parts and wanting to maximize your screen time. He carried that into being a leading man. Whereas, when they offered me the lead in White Fang as a teen, I picked two or three scenes where I invested myself, but most of the time I was at craft services, trying to pick up girls or reading a book.

DETAILS: The first leading role you took after Reality Bites, the film that made you a Gen-X icon, was Before Sunrise, a small-budget indie. Did you turn down any bigger offers?
Ethan Hawke: Superhero movies. Batman. This was after Tim Burton’s, before the bad period. I just didn’t want to go to the Knicks game and have everybody go, “Wow, you were a great Batman!” That wasn’t my f–king goal in life. Now I wish I’d done it, because I could have used it to do other things.

DETAILS: Is that why you said yes to Taking Lives, the 2004 Angelina Jolie vehicle you’ve said you regret?
Ethan Hawke: You keep saying no, and they keep offering more money until it feels stupid not to do it. Look, I loved working with Angelina, but it’s a movie about nothing. I should pin it on me, really. Paul McCartney doesn’t write great songs because he’s trying to sell records, he does it because he loves them. Every time I try to sell out, I fall on my ass.

DETAILS: How did you handle the “Gen-X hunk” reputation? Did it make you uncomfortable?
Ethan Hawke: Now I think it’s kind of awesome, but back then I was suicidal. Maybe that’s too strong a word. I was writhing…

DETAILS: Really? You were a sex symbol at 24. Was this the decadent kind of despair, where you wake up wondering where the girl next to you came from?
Ethan Hawke: I wish! Back then, I thought fame was a disease. And I knew I wasn’t good enough yet to warrant it.

DETAILS: You and Uma Thurman divorced in 2004. Were there benefits to marrying another actor?
Ethan Hawke: The upside is that they relate to all your problems. The downside is both partners can put their professional ambition at the forefront. For two people who are used to getting what they want, to being idolized by the opposite sex, you can’t expect them to naturally figure out how to be in this enlightened state and create a home. Uma and I were, like, 26 when we met. We were both, like, little stars of our world. I think we did a damn fine job of trying to love each other and raise our two kids.

DETAILS: What kind of dad are you?
Ethan Hawke: Lots of divorced dads will tell you that one of the biggest enemies is guilty parenting: You only have them a couple days a week, and you want to make sure you have a good time. So you can risk being a pushover. I’ve never had any problems with my kids, though. The hard thing is how to co-parent.

DETAILS: You’ve been married to your wife Ryan for three years now. What does she do?
Ethan Hawke: She was working at the Doe Fund, a men’s shelter, helping people prepare for job interviews and things like that. Right now she has a newborn and a 3-year-old and she’s trying to figure out when she wants to go back to work. And she’s been helping me with my work, too, reading scripts.

DETAILS: Why did you choose to write both of your novels on a typewriter?
Ethan Hawke: I love things that are physical. I don’t like porn, I like naked girls. I like talking with people, I wouldn’t know how to date online. I love theater, the immediacy of it. Every time I see some kid on the subway watching The Godfather on his iPod, I think, “F–k it, I want to do a play.”

DETAILS: You’ve played a lot of pompous, self-absorbed jerks, including a tantrum-prone writer in the upcoming thriller The Woman in the Fifth. Do you need to find something you like in these guys to play them well?
Ethan Hawke: No. My character in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead? Talk about spineless! I wanted to kill him. A person with a problem becomes vastly more exciting to inhabit, because you don’t know what they’re going to do. Over the years, every now and then, I’d play a good guy, and I’d just be miserable.

[From Details]

The thing is that I know what Ethan is trying to do – he’s trying to emphasize how UNCOOL he is, he’s trying to name-drop people that he thinks are better than him (Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, etc), and he’s trying to be honest about his own self-loathing and ego-driven urges. But you can tell he has a healthy ego. You know how I know? “Superhero movies. Batman. This was after Tim Burton’s, before the bad period. I just didn’t want to go to the Knicks game and have everybody go, ‘Wow, you were a great Batman!’ That wasn’t my f–king goal in life. Now I wish I’d done it, because I could have used it to do other things.” Who the hell says stuff like that? It’s one thing to mention a specific project that you were offered (that’s enough of a taboo in Hollywood, and seriously, BATMAN?!?), but to end it with the idea that you should have done it because then you would get to do more important work? Rat-boy, please. God, I love him.



Photos courtesy of Fame, WENN.

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35 Responses to “Ethan Hawke could have been Batman, says Ethan Hawke”

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  1. Hollowdoll says:

    maybe mini batman in a porno or something.

  2. kieslwoski says:

    The biggest problem with Ethan is that he wanted to be a big time imprtant actor like Deniro but it never happened for him. Kind of sad, because he is much more talented than for example Gerard Butler but he is now reduced to doing tv.

  3. Cali says:

    Ummm, not hot enough for Batman…now Christian Bale…damn he is nice to look at AND can really act.

  4. lush33 says:

    aww be still my beating heart still trapped in 1994 where my two loves were Ethan and Jordan Catalono.

  5. Kristen says:

    My brother’s a stagehand at the Beaumont @ Lincoln Center so when he did Coast of Utopia a few years ago I got to meet him. He’s kind of gross and shiny up close.

  6. Bad Fairy says:

    He made some nasty comment about Emma Thompson and Glenn Close once, saying that they should star in a film called “We Simper Smuggly” or something to that paraphrased effect. Ever since I read that bit I dislike this guy.

  7. curleque says:

    Reality Bites: Worst Movie of the 1990s.
    Ethan Hawke: Biggest Douche From the 1990s.

    And I used to think he was the hottest thing going…

  8. lizzie says:

    He always looks super familiar to me….though i’ve never really seen any of his films…..but just that picture i’ve realised….

    He looks like the homeless guy that lives in my town. and he is Ethan Hawkes total twin!
    I wonder does Ethan Hawke like to hum the Charlies Angel theme tune when people walk past too?

  9. Rhiley says:

    I find dudes like Ethan Hawke so mind numbingly dull. He is worse than James Franco with the philosophical esoteric existenial bull patoot. I would rather shoot myself in the foot than read one of his novels.

  10. Lenore says:

    DETAILS: You’ve acted in about two movies a year since 1985. Do you go nuts when you’re not working?

    Ethan Hawke: You’re not even counting the theater! There aren’t many serious actors from my generation who’ve done as much theater as I have, and who have also published a couple of books, and who have also had four kids.

    OH. MY. GOD! Pure, unadulterated douche. He really thinks he’s God’s gift, doesn’t he? And yet he has all the screen presence of wet white bread. Like diet James Franco.

    His poor wife. Probably ended up being his bottle-washer, babysitter, chauffeur, laundress, PA and surrogate mother while he’s up in the loft, turning up the Soul Asylum to drown out the annoying baby-noise, being tortured and artistic and intense, coaxing his beard to grow.

    [/irrational dislike based on nothing]

  11. Ally says:

    @Lenore: re your last paragraph, sounds dead on accurate. Also hilarious.

  12. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    @Lizzie Dead Poets Society is an excellent movie with Ethan Hawke in it.

  13. Sisi says:

    Lenore you made me chuckle : )

  14. KateNonymous says:

    “Paul McCartney doesn’t write great songs because he’s trying to sell records, he does it because he loves them.”

    BS, Ethan. Even Paul says that he and John used to say, “Okay, now let’s write a swimming pool.”

    And after Tim Burton, but before “the bad period”? So that means what, Batman Forever? That wasn’t bad? Well, I guess it was mostly forgettable.

    BTW, I know someone who was in Dead Poets’ Society, but didn’t become a star. He says that Ethan’s always blown him off, but Robert Sean Leonard has never been anything but friendly and happy to see him.

    When my brother was an extra in “The Newton Boys,” he asked if I had any message for Matthew McConaghey. I said, “Tell him I said, ‘Cut your hair.'” Then he said, “What about Ethan Hawke?” My answer: “Wash your hair.” Based on these photos, that advice would still apply.

  15. lulu7 says:

    I do LOove the films

    Before Sunrise and Before Sunset!
    I know he’s probably a brooding mess of tangled ego, but he seems like a fascinating guy.

  16. MSMLNP says:

    “Right now she has a newborn and a 3-year-old ”

    He speaks as if he is not the father…complete and utter douchebaggery.

  17. BigHair&Pearls says:

    Self-important douche! I’m going all old school and adding the ‘bag’! I can’t stand this pretentious douchebag. He’s not even goodlooking. Slime.

  18. nina says:

    remember how lovely he was in dead poet’s society? That all went to hell and he got really methy really fast around the late 90’s. He’s like a really self-important methface, and batman says no to drugs.

  19. malia says:

    He was very jealous of Uma Thurman’s success when his career was stalling. I remember him saying some very harsh things about her solely on the notion that she was wrong if he thought he’d stay at hom and be mr. mom while she was off filming with tarantino, that there was only enough room for one star in the family.

    I found it very telling about him, total douche material. Funny he ended up cheating on her with their nanny and marrying her. He made sure he didnt’ have anyone to compete with second time around.

  20. Str8Shooter says:

    Sorry, but I think Batman showered and had good hygiene. Two strikes there already. Oh, and you’re a PRETENTIOUS BORE.

    Make that three strikes.

  21. Madison says:

    I like his movies, yes I liked reality bites, before sunrise/sunset, training day, beofre the devil knows your dead and laugh at how seriously he takes himself and self important he sounds in his interviews.

  22. v says:

    It’s weird. He looks a little like jonathan franzen in the glasses.

  23. Carolyn says:

    Ethan is proof that no-one’s star always shines in Hwood. He used to be hot hot hot…now he’s almost a has-been. Must be tough when you think you’re awesome and the casting people/those who make the decisions, don’t.

  24. Brittney says:

    He *is* a complete douche… but I love him, too. And I was pretty sure it was just that I met him (during one of his book tours, in Chicago)… or Before Sunrise. That killed me. But it’s good to hear that someone else has a soft spot for him, too.

  25. Auds says:

    It seems as though everything went pear shaped for him after his marriage to Uma Thurman bit the dust.

  26. sandy#1 says:

    i too like ethan, always have, can’t put my finger on why, maybe it’s good i don’t know too much about him personally, he’s a handsome guy who’s been around for awhile, he’s a dying breed, he takes his craft seriously and manages to survive, i think he does have a healthy ego, which is part of his draw.

  27. olcranky says:

    the more he talks the stronger the scent of vinegar in the air. . .

  28. Eve says:

    I don’t know why people think he couldn’t play Bruce Wayne/Batman — I think he has more of the tortured, depressed look that characterizes Wayne than Bale (who I really don’t think is all that — all he does well is losing dramatic amounts of weight for some roles and people go “Oh, he is a such a method and profound actor!”…bullshit, he’s an average one, at best).

  29. Beebop says:

    Met him, he thinks very highly of himself. Douche indeed.

  30. BIGT says:

    Never thought he was hot. Certainly not hot now. Huge d-bag. Does look like a homeless guy. Imagine he is a major asshole to the women he is with.

  31. foozy says:

    still sexy. wish he was more famous. loved gattaca!!!!!

  32. Stephanie says:

    Total zero.

  33. Laura says:

    He is seriously hot.

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