Ethan Hawke ‘feels sorry’ for Jennifer Lawrence’s early career successes


The Daily Beast interviewed Ethan Hawke to celebrate his year of spectacular achievement, mostly with Boyhood. Ethan has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and SAG Award, plus Ethan and the film are picking up tons of critics’ awards. The weird gamble of making a film over the course of 12 years has paid off spectacularly. Anyway, about this Daily Beast interview – it is SO GOOD. And by that I mean… I love Ethan because A) he’s a sh-t talking gossip, B) he genuinely loves film and theater and he loves to talk about it, C) he can be so bitchy and D) he’s so very verbose. I want to see Ethan and Benedict Cumberbatch in the same room, bitching and verbose-ing. Anyway, you can read the full piece here (it was published a few days ago, sorry for not getting to it sooner). Some highlights:

On early successes, Jennifer Lawrence: “Success screws people up when it happens too young. I got to meet Mike Nichols once, and he used to talk about how he had so much success so young that it screwed up his sense of what’s “appropriate.” I feel sorry for a young actress like Jennifer Lawrence who gets so much success out of the gate, because how are you supposed to develop an appropriate work ethic? How do you push yourself to be better when you get an Oscar for buying breakfast in the morning? It’s the kind of thing one wants to really work for. Tennessee Williams wrote this great essay called The Catastrophe of Success about how failure and success can both be miserable experiences, but failure can at least be fuel to inspire you to be better, while success can just drown you.”

On Woody Harrelson: “When I saw The Messenger, I thought it was our Coming Home. It’s a great film. And I’ve been a longtime Woody Harrelson fan, and it’s been amazing for me to watch him turn into Gene Hackman. He’s turning into one of those ferocious older guys. I would have never predicted when I saw Cheers that Woody Harrelson was going to be one of the great actors of this generation.

On Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell: “One example would be how fascinating it must be to be Martin Scorsese and have an Oscar at home for The Departed….[and] they f–ked him for Goodfellas. And look at last year. A lot of people made a big deal over American Hustle, and that is a very good imitation Scorsese movie, but we had an actual Scorsese movie that came out that same year! The Wolf of Wall Street is a dangerous, incendiary work of art. You leave the theater thinking, “Wait a second… I was just force-fed misogyny and awful behavior for three hours, but I’m very unsure of things.”

Actors who can never find the lightness: “Even my favorite actor of my generation, Philip Seymour Hoffman, if he had a fault, it was his tendency to, at times, focus too much on the blackness. Sean Penn does that, too. But Sean Penn’s best performances are when he’s both good and bad, like in Mystic River. But I respect Sean because he has balls for days. He’s one of the only actors today who would’ve really thrived in the ‘70s. He goes for broke, but the director rarely matches him.

His real acting hero: “But you know, I had only one other hero in my life acting and that was River [Phoenix]… And to have Phil [Seymour Hoffman] die this year… River was my young friend and my peer, and Phil was my peer, but very rarely do you have a peer who you just openly admire. River was a leader. When My Own Private Idaho came out, that was the first time somebody from our generation was contributing. He said, “Hey man, I don’t care what my agent says. I have something to say, and I’m going to play a gay character in a Gus Van Sant movie.” This was true outsider art. And Phil was a leader—in theater, and in movies. A lot of actors are good, but Phil was a fully developed artist.

A Bill Clinton story: “Speaking of weird New York moments like Wally Shawn, I was waiting in line to pee at Shakespeare in the Park and was standing behind Bill Clinton—which was already weird, waiting in line to pee behind Bill Clinton. So, we go to the urinals and he leans over to me and whispers, “I loved Gattaca.” How crazy is that!?”

Bills to pay/money talk: “I’ve tried to finance my child support and my kids’ school and all my bills with independent cinema as well, but my experiment with movies like The Purge and Sinister and Predestination is to try and make exciting genre films that are substantive, and make them cheaply enough so you actually see some back-end, as opposed to doing a Marvel movie or something. I think this way is a little more dangerous….It’s pretty hard. I don’t get paid to do Boyhood or the Before trilogy or to do Macbeth at Lincoln Center. I gotta figure out a way to pay my bills somehow! I wanted to be Warren Beatty when I was young and make one movie every three years and have it be brilliant, but the rules of the game are changing. I just feel incredibly fortunate to have met someone like Richard Linklater back in ’93 who had the same ethos as me, and wanted to make the same kind of art. Unlike Daniel Day-Lewis or Sean Penn or these “third-person” actors who can really shape-change themselves, I’ve just tried to put myself in different kinds of material to push myself to change so that I can give different kinds of performances.

[From The Daily Beast]

There’s SO MUCH more. But isn’t Ethan amazing? He’s bitchy, he’s a name-dropper, he’s a humble-bragger, he’s a snob and… it all sort of works. I love that he dared to throw a little shade on J-Law. I love that he basically called out American Hustle for being a budget Martin Scorsese film. I love that he compares himself to Daniel Day-Lewis and Sean Penn. Even if I don’t agree with him about everything, it’s refreshing to read an interview with someone who doesn’t talk in soundbytes, someone who actually thinks about art and his place in his artistic community.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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139 Responses to “Ethan Hawke ‘feels sorry’ for Jennifer Lawrence’s early career successes”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Meh. I don’t find him attractive or especially interesting.

    • Kiddo says:

      Yeah, I’m guessing you had a look-see on the photos above.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Who, exactly, WEARS THAT?

      • Kiddo says:


      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Gramps is mad at you now.

      • Kitten says:

        Gramps would wear the pants a bit higher, like under his nipples.

        That outfit made me laugh out loud. It is THAT atrocious.

        I find Hawke relatively interesting, compared to most celebs, but I don’t know…I think I’ll always have a soft spot for him for Reality Bites and the Linklater movies.

      • Kiddo says:

        You’re getting soft on me Kitten. I can not sanction this buffoonery. Lay off the Dessert Hardy, you’ve had too much, and it shows. You are officially cut off from the intoxicating effect.

        Hawke is smart, but also his ego is LARGE.

      • Kitten says:

        I can’t imagine what my Dessert Hardy hangover is going to be like….

        He’s egotistical but for some reason it doesn’t bother me.

        *downs three Comet Sophies*

    • Ojulia123 says:

      I agree. He looks like a foot.

    • MsGoblin says:

      I saw “Boyhood” and, apart from the device of spanning 12 actual years, it was dreck.

    • Miss Gloss says:

      Agree. Never understood the overall interest in this guy.

  2. Sixer says:


    The beauty is that you get to disagree with some of it and not even mind!

  3. Kate says:

    He’s a privileged, pretentious jerk. Not sure why I’m supposed to like this.

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, I don’t hate him as an actor but he’s always struck me as try hard with his “artiste” persona.

      • Aurore says:

        You have no idea. I had the displeasure of dining with him once at a friend’s place and the guy is insufferable. I was hoping he would just stop talking about how he’s an Artist and such a great writer, etc. It was very disappointing because I like his movies, but he really is a pretentious jerk.

  4. maybeiamcrazy says:

    I don’t think he is throwing shade at JLaw. He is just saying that great success can fuck people up, especially when they are not as succesful as they once were for whatever reasons and it is true. His bitching about American Hustle is a glorious shade though. I love it.

    • Anname says:

      He says she got an Oscar for eating breakfast… I take that as she is not doing much to merit all the accolades she is receiving. Talented girl but way too overhyped?

      (Edit: oops, I am repeating what has already been discussed further down!)

      • perplexed says:

        Yeah, the breakfast part of the quote kind of shocked me. It seemed…kind of mean? I don’t know if she deserved the Oscar, but he made it sound as though her performance was almost really bad. I figured it had to at least be above average to have won (which I think most of the winners tend to be, except for maybe Sandra Bullock’s performance. That was the only one I could think of where I was staring at the win in puzzlement. And I don’t even generally think of her as being bad. There are always disputes over who should have won, but overall a horrendously stinky performance doesn’t generally win — it’s usually the performances that get the job done in at least an adequate way and I do think the bar gets set that low most of the time in any given year because of the politics involved).

        I also tend to think of her as having a better work ethic than most, so I thought she was a weird example to bring up. Lindsay Lohan is an example where early success led to what seems like laziness (amongst, many other problems).

      • Lilacflowers says:

        I interpreted it as being rewarded so early can be inhibiting. She was at the beginning of her career, breakfast, and hasn’t had time to develop, learn, explore, and evolve, and he seems to be saying that being awarded so young may stifle the desire to do those things that help one grow as an artist . That an artist should be awarded later, at dinner time, not at the start.

      • perplexed says:

        The Best Actress winner category tends to skew younger, so in that sense I’m not surprised she could have won. The Academy likes rewarding younger women just like they prefer their Best Actor winners to be older (and not look like Paul Newman when he was young). I see it as a feature of the category. If Jennifer Lawrence hadn’t won it at 23, she probably would win it at 25, 27, 28 or 29 which is still younger than a male actor could ever hope to see the award. Maybe Hawke should have picked on a male actor to make his point. And since there are more good roles for men than good roles for women, I don’t think Hawke could ever hope to win since there are more meaty male performances to choose from. Because of the way the Hollywood system is set up, Jennifer Lawrence HAS to get her success young, because when she reaches 40, who knows what it’s going to happen? People might not be asking her to wax poetic on other people like they’re asking Ethan Hawke to do, which he can afford to do as a male actor despite not even being in the top category of actors in his age range. Winona Ryder is his contemporary and early success probably did screw her up, but the system is set up so that women have to get the success when they’re under 30, because after that is an unknown quantity. No one will be offering you chances to grow as an actress in your 40s if you haven’t broken through earlier in a big way. Maybe I find it annoying when men comment on women’s career paths because of the systemic differences for both genders. I think Zac Efron is as plastic as you can get, but even he can “explore” in his 20s and hope that he can grow as an actor in his 30s or later (like Matthew McConaughey did), but for women it’s a toss-up.

      • Esmom says:

        perplexed, really great point about Best Actress skewing younger. Depressing.

        And lilacflowers, his comment about being rewarded early reminded me of Robert Pattinson’s discomfort during the Twilight heyday with achieving so much fame and money and feeling like he hadn’t done enough to earn it/like he’d become stuck as a result.

  5. scout says:

    Ethan Hawke, ex of Uma Thurman. That’s all I remember about him. Leave JLaw alone mister!

    Happy New Year!

  6. Linda Callaghan says:


  7. tallo says:

    Happy Christmas celebitches! I love a bit of ethan hawke! He was so sweet in dead poets society. He takes risks in films and plays jerks. I’d like to see him play someone heroic say in a marvel film for a change. I worry for jlaw too hopefully fame won’t mess her up. Happy holidays everyone

  8. jenn12 says:

    Winter’s Bone was terrific and she deserved accolades from it. Ethan has done plenty of mainstream cinema from early on, so he’s full of it.

    • Dońt kill me i'm french says:

      He also did many indie movies so he knows about what he talks

      • perplexed says:

        He’s 40 something now though. He’s lived more years than Jennifer. We don’t know what her career will look like 20 years from now yet.

        The industry is also different nowadays. Everyone either wants or needs to be in a franchise to keep the rest of their career going (I assume that’s why RDJ does them even though he’s Hawke’s age and is very talented).

      • Brandii says:

        I saw him in the most ridiculous film I’ve seen in years just the other day. He plays a racedriver whos wife is kidnapped by a guy who then requires him to drive around the city distracting the police while this guy robs the stockmarket or something. If that sounds dumb, it omly captures a tiny fraction of the idiocy that is that film..It co-stars Selena Gomez as some tech wiz. Yep! This guy has no business touting himself as some great Artiste.. oh and his performance in that mes of a film is atrocious. I assume it was only released in Eastern Europe because he seems pretty confident yaking away like he is some great autier.

    • Charlie says:

      But that’s what he’s saying. She was amazing in Winter’s Bone and then mediocre in everything else, yet she gets praise and awards. She didn’t develop at all. Just like Natalie Portman after Leon.

      • Jackie J says:

        Isn’t it a little too early to be writing Lawrence off for not having developed since Winter’s Bone? Give the girl a break – she’s spent most of her time since in franchises! I think she has been consistently excellent in films of mixed quality ever since, and has a magnetic screen presence. Her roles in SLP and AH were under-written and cliched, but she made her characters come alive. Anyway, Ethan Hawke’s isn’t casting shade on her performances, or her ability. He’s just making the fair point that early success can be a trap, which is true.

      • Charlie says:

        Opinions may differ, of course, but in my opinion she was mediocre and over the top in SLP and AH and she got awards for them. Perhaps it is a little to early to write her off, which I am not doing, but then it was a little too early to give her all those awards.
        I don’t find her screen presence magnetic at all.

      • Kitten says:

        “She was amazing in Winter’s Bone and then mediocre in everything else, yet she gets praise and awards. ”

        I like JLaw and I hope she takes on more interesting roles in the future but I completely agree with Charlie on this.

      • Jackie J says:

        I thought she was note-perfect in SLP and appropriately flamboyant in AH, reflecting her nature of her character as it was written. Also, in the Hunger Games films, she acts with great restraint and nuance, despite the somewhat wonky nature of the source material. However, each to their own!

      • Angela says:

        @Charlie: Totally agree with you. She’s already rich and extremely famous- she’s doesnt even have to try right now. And judging by her performances in SLP and AH and the fact that she’s getting involved in another artistic flop from DOR, she doesn’t want to. Btw, I wonder why nobody hasn’t responded yet with : “But she has an Oscar and you don’t!!” (the usual response when she’s criticised).

      • GingerCrunch says:

        Really! An Oscar is something “one wants to really work for”??? Huh? Whaaa? So pretentious-sounding. And isn’t it about the ART? I’m sure lots of Oscars went to lucky actors who were in the right place at the right time in the right film. He realllllly thinks highly of the Oscars.

      • Jbap says:

        Winter’s Bone was a once in a lifetime female role: judging J-Law for not delivering a similar performance since is holding her to a ridiculously unfair standard. Any top-class actress would be proud to have her performances in Hunger Games, SLP or AH on their resumes, not matter how middling their quality might be as films.

      • Charlie says:

        @Jbap – that is not what I said. I’m not expectiing her to deliver a similar performance. But if she’s nominated for an Oscar, I expect the performance to be great, not mediocre.
        I’d put her in the Penelope Cruz/Sandra Bullock/Gwyneth Paltrow camp of underserved wins. She is a mediocre actress with outstanding PR.
        And yet, you can criticize almost any actor, but not her. She’s almost Joliesque when it comes to that.

      • Jbap says:

        She’s far from being a mediocre actor. Her role in SLP may not have been the most stand-out performance ever to win an Oscar, and she’s in danger of being overhyped, but she has exceptional range and talent.

      • Charlie says:

        Let’s agree to disagree, because I have yet to see “exceptional range and talent” in her.

      • Helo says:

        @Charlie: A mediocre actress?…oh come on. Too many established critics disagree and they can’t all be bullshitting. Since 2008 long before Jennifer Lawrence became a household name. I do agree with Goopy not deserving her win. Yes, a zillion times to that.

        Though, truth be told, none of those actresses you mentioned as not deserving have ever shown range in their performances.

      • Krystal says:

        I loved her in Winter’s Bone but the rest of her roles are meh to me.

  9. Dońt kill me i'm french says:

    I like this interview.He works since so many times.He became famous when he was teen.

  10. InvaderTak says:

    Maybe I’m just blind, but I don’t get snobbyness or humble bragging from this. He has opinions, he states them. Agree or disagree, whatever. Having opinions and actually discussing industry peers/icons doesn’t make him a snob or a name dropper. He is taking about his feeling on the industry he’s been a part of for a long time. He’s an actor discussing actors and directors and roles; his opinions are at least qualified for the discussion. What is he supposes to talk about? Maybe I’m just not easily offended? Help me out here, I thought it was a good interview.

    • Anname says:

      Not many actors are that candid. Calling American Hustle a budget Scorsese in a print interview is a bold thing to do. Many probably think that, but not many would say it. I agree it’s a great interview – much more interesting to read than most.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        I agree, Anname. It does take some cojones for any actor to openly criticize a specific film/director the way Ethan dissed American Hustle. Loved this interview.

        Big chuckle on the Bubba story.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        He also openly dissed Wolf of Wall Street.

      • Bella bella says:

        Lilac, His comments about Wolf of Wall Street are the opposite — he thought it was amazing! I’m not seeing a diss when calling a movie “incendiary.”

    • Josefa says:

      I absolutely agree. I see people writing comments like Ethan’s on facebook and forums like this all the time, in a much more rude and agressive manner. I think he’s being pretty polite, actually, and I can’t understand why anyone would be offended by his comments.

      In this ultra-PC world were everyone is offended by the slightest things and everyone is so worried about the backlash their most mundane opinions could get if expressed, seeing an actor openly discuss the industry he’s a part of without sugarcoating anything is truly refreshing. Go Ethan.

  11. kim says:

    Ever since Before Sunrise I can’t stop listening to him. He’s the kinda guy who can talk s**t and doesn’t harm anybody.
    Oscar is right ahead of him and he goes trash the Academy. What a fun guy.

    • Kitten says:

      I’m obsessed with Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight.
      I absolutely loved all three.

      • Jayna says:

        I know. I still think of the scene at the airport with his son and his subtle but brilliant performance in the scene where his son is leaving.

        And I also am still blown away by the like 20-minute fight with Julie Delpy in the hotel. That was pure monologue being delivered like in a play and riveting and you felt sick as their issues began to spill out and it was about so much more than you realized during the movie. But that scene was like watching a Broadway play with nothing but two actors and their talent and the words to deliver on stage in an intimate scene, no props. He was brilliant.

      • Elly says:

        i love them too! Ethan and Julie are brilliant in the movies!

      • Lilacflowers says:

        I love the Before films. But I want there to be a mash-up between the Before films and The Trip films. The four of them all end up in the same cafe or something and the film bounces back from one table to the other with Steve Coogan doing an Ethan Hawke impersonation at some point. Throw in Adam and Eve from OLLA listening to music at the bar and this would be pure movie bliss for me.

      • Venuslotus says:

        Me too! Me too! I love all, but Before Sunset was my favorite.
        And, I saw “Predestination” yesterday, dude can do no wrong to me.

  12. Reed says:

    What he said about JLaw is kinda true. I also think she picked too early. Not her fault of course.

  13. K says:

    “How do you push yourself to be better when you get an Oscar for buying breakfast in the morning? ” Yaaaasss! I love this guy! Both in SLP and American Hustle she gave such a mediocre performance. Tell the truth Ethan! 😀

    • Anna B says:

      I don’t think he’s casting shade on the quality of J-Law’s performances at all. He’s simply questioning how you can progress if you get such success straight out of the door.

      • Kitten says:

        I think he’s saying both really.

        I don’t necessarily think J Law becoming less of an actress, but I wonder if she’s really stretching herself–she’s stalled. I’m not sure if it’s because she had success so early, or if she’s playing it safe by choosing uninteresting, limited-range roles.

        She’s young and has plenty of time to progress but I do agree with K that those performances were decidedly mediocre.
        I think now is the time for her to start taking some risks, because I really do see her ending up on a train to Rom Com City if she doesn’t.

      • Anna B says:

        Kitten, yes I see what you mean, but I’m not sure it’s fair to say her choice of roles has been safe or limited. I used to work in theatre, and young actresses were always told to pick roles that showcased the range of their abilities – drama, comedy, physical expressiveness and so on. That’s exactly what J-Law is doing: drama in Winter’s Bone, action movie physicality in the Hunger Games and X-Men, comedy in SLP and AH. Not all the films she’s been in have been good, but they have demonstrated her unusually wide character range (as we used to say in the trade), whereas Emma Stone for example has chosen to focus on dong a good job within a much limited range of roles. So yes, some of the films she has done have been mediocre, but her choice of roles has actually been fairly brave.

      • K says:

        “unusually wide character range” lol Ok. That’s your opinion. I’ve never seen her in any role where she wasn’t playing herself. I don’t thinks she’s a horrible actress or anything, but she can’t disappear in a character, she’s more of a movie star. Her acting abilities are limited, but then some of the biggest movie stars acting abilities are limited. I know a lot of people enjoy watching her and i have no problem with that. I have problem with her being treated like she’s the number one acting talent of her generation, as if she’s 10 steps ahead of everyone else, which is an enormous reach. I also think it’s annoying that she’s being compared to actresses with a ridiculously larger skill set. Compare any of her performances with any of Meryl’s early performances (whom she’s often being compared to) and you will see an astonishing difference in acting skills. Her hype is a big turn off, wich is not directly her fault, but her team sure does fuel the fire. That’s my opinion.

      • Annie B says:

        I find the idea that J-Law only plays herself, or has a limited range, perplexing. In what way is her character in AH in any way comparable to Katniss Everdeen, for example? Her range is unusually wide: I’m not saying she’s the greatest actor ever, but she is very talented.

      • K says:

        Despite her usual pouty lipped, nostril flaring “serious” acting, i’ve never seen her show more range than in the Hunger Games movie, she was great. I’m not saying she was the same in HG like she was in AH, those are two radically different characters. In AH she was tragically bad, so let’s not go there. I’m not saying she plays the same characters over and over again, that’s Johnny Depp, but she has a certain acting style and mannerisms, that are always the same in every movie. Their part of her personality and she’s unable to shake them off, like Brad Pitt for example, whom i love, one of my fave actors. I don’t think he’s a fantastic acting talent, not in the same category with Bale, or Day-Lewis, but i love watching him, he’s very entertaining, probably why he achieved so much. I think JLaw is a good actress, just not the Messiah of the acting business like she’s portrayed in the media and by her fans.

      • Artemis says:

        I haven’t seen Winter’s Bone (shame on me) but I have seen some other performances both film and TV and I’m not amazed by her ‘great talent’. I completely missed her when she was on Cold Case so it’s not like she stood out for me.

        For me great talent is what Streep consistently does, especially in her earlier roles. Great talent is Emily Watson in ‘Breaking the Waves’ and Björk in ‘Dancer in the Dark’. Those two made their film debut (Björk wasn’t even an actress) and they crushed me for DAYS. I just saw Billy Bob Thornton in ‘Sling Blade’, just wow. That shit will never leave my damn brain. River Phoenix was truly a great talent and he took huge risks.
        I don’t need to be told what great acting is, it is completely subjective so when everybody was praising her, I just didn’t get the fuss. J-law doesn’t move me with her acting. I also compare with above actors and J-Law definitely falls short.

        It’s different for everybody but her performances never ‘stay’ with me and that’s how I know I don’t feel like somebody put in a great performance. For instance, in SLP, I thought Cooper showed a much wider range of skills and his performance moved me on a personal level.

        It seems like Winter’s Bone is her only standout performance but even the most mediocre actors can churn in great perfomances. It’s consistency that ultimately decides whether someone is great or not and that is something she still has to prove and I think she should have that opportunity tbh.
        All that being said, she is a good actress at the end of the day.
        That’s just my opinion.

      • Annie B says:

        Artemis, you make a fair point about subjective views about acting. That moment of shock in the presence of good acting has happened to me a few times – and twice in the case of J-Law, in Winter’s Bone and (to my shock, because I didn’t like the rest if the film) the first Hunger Games film. Each to their own, I suppose!

      • perplexed says:

        I have no opinion on whether she’s evolved as an actress since I haven’t seen all of her films, but I don’t think she’s made bad choices in terms of roles. That she took on the role in American Hustle seems to make sense to me — she got to work with a lot of accomplished actors in that movie (i.e Bale, Adams, do I have to count Cooper? — well, people like him well enough so I guess I’ll count him). Her way of choosing a non-franchise film role so far strikes me as similar to Leonardo Dicaprio’s – working with directors he likes and other good actors. Leonardo Dicaprio is an example of a young male actor who achieved a great deal of success quite young (even if he hasn’t won an Oscar yet but 23 year old males simply don’t ) but did strive to stretch himself in the way Hawke describes. I guess he didn’t want to put a hit on his male competition because of how his comments might be misconstrued against another male actor, but it would have been funny if he had referenced Ben Affleck and his J-LO phase.

        I also would guess that J-Law is at the top of everybody’s list if she’s able to get parts playing women in their 30s . If these are the roles going to her as a director’s first choice instead of someone older, I would assume that’s really all that’s out there in terms of challenging roles for women for her to choose from.

  14. Angie says:

    Great interview. He’s also alot of fun on Watch What Happens Live. Not sure I’d really like him as a person (especially after some of his Uma comments) but I’d enjoy his company and listening to him talk

  15. EM says:

    He hasn’t aged well. He resembles one of the people in those anti crystal meth public service ads. At one point Hawke was a rising star and then somewhere along the way he faded out, then returned in lacklustre films.
    He’s right about American Hustle. What a tedious film that was. So much dialogue, little action, too much talking. Like a wannabe Scorcese/Woody Allen hybrid film, but more like a bad version of the latter – and I dislike Woody Allen films for their neuroticism and excessive dialogue.

  16. redrick says:

    I’m just caught up on Bill leaning over by the urinal…….. The image of that is just too remarkable for me to digest at this time of day.

  17. Anna B says:

    Great interview – he’s smart, interesting and provocative. I loved in particular his take on American Hustle – ‘very good imitation Scorsese’, the same thought occurred to me while watching it!

    I also get what he’s saying about early career success and J-Law: early success can be crippling. However, there’s an element of the Great White Male Actor superiority complex showing its head when he asks how she can possibly develop a proper work ethic. Young, successful, female stars like J-Law have to work incredibly hard at keeping in shape and generally navigating a minefield of public commentary about their appearance, fashion choices and career options that their male counterparts don’t have to deal with to the same extent. I bet you anything that J-Law works harder on a day-to-day basis than Ethan Hawke has ever done in his life, if you factor in gym time and all the assorted extra demands that come with her public profile and constant media scrutiny.

  18. dref22 says:

    American Hustle is the most overrated movie in the 2000s, kudos to Hawke agreeing with me haha. I seriously recommend his movie, Predestination. It’s a very interesting movie and it’s one of those movies which makes you want to discuss it with your buddies. I’m sure we’ll be seeing Sarah Snook in more things in the near future, she was great in the movie.

  19. OSTONE says:

    A gossip session with him and Goop would be glorious! Imagine all the snobbery and name-dropping!

  20. PixieWitch says:

    i have always liked ethan hawke. he has made some awful movies. but i just like him, there i said it.

    • Kiddo says:

      Yeah, but I bet he makes an assistant carry a HUGE golf umbrella over him, to cover his ego. Food for thought.

      * raining on a parade*

      • PixieWitch says:

        you think? i don’t see him as the “im too good to carry my own umbrella” kind of guy. but i could be totally wrong.

  21. Luca76 says:

    Hmm if an actress said this there would be hell to pay.
    He clearly wants an Oscar and he is clearly insecure about his place in the Hollywood heirarchy. Anyone that talks about River Phoenix is all right by me though.

  22. Vampi says:

    I thought the main pic was of a busted looking Eddie Cibrian at first!
    Wow do I need coffee….

  23. Paula says:

    Well, I agree with him. Right now Lawrence is praised no matter what she does and how she does her work and it seems like she can’t grow as an actress because such constant (often undeserved) praises can make you lazy. Her work in AH was really bad (or at least nothing to talk about, for me such a bad example of cringeworthy overacting) and she was an Oscar frontrunner. It’s just my opinion. Also, I can’t dislike anybody who thinks AH and Russell’s work in general are overrrated piece of s*** …

  24. Alexi says:

    love Ethan – he has given some spectacular performances, besides being hot. It’s refreshing to hear someone speak their seemingly honest opinion for a change. Everyone else edits to be PC or manage up, or creates bs stories like Madonna for free press (ie her songs getting leaked- she’s alway,s made up lies since the beginning of her career thinking that equals marketing lol). So bravo to Ethan for his voice and balls…. I do think tho he’s making a healthy income and living a pretty fab lifestyle so I don’t give him points for his economics vs the average person. He’s pretty lucky in that arena, and what a career- I tot agree re Woody Harrelson – he is a powerhouse as well!

    • Jayna says:

      Whoever would have thought the goofy young bartender on Cheers was going to ever have a career past a bland comedy at the movies and then fade away. He fooled many. What a talented actor.

  25. Moma says:

    He is so right about J-Law. I really like J-Law but its true, she got her nominations and oscar for nothing. No wonder Jennifer Aniston thinks now she can get one too. Everybody loves J-Law so Aniston thinks she can get one too because she thinks everybody loves her too and shes the outsider.
    I didnt liked American Hustle, i stopped it after 20 minutes, it was so boring.

    • Anname says:

      I agree with you about the Oscars. It’s very disappointing that it has become more about the campaign than the performance.

    • Jules says:

      Oscar noms and win for nothing?…nope. I must respectfully disagree. I also see Hawke’s comment regarding Lawrence as more of a comment on how an actor could get lazy with performances after winning an Oscar so young.

      However, Lawrence hasn’t gotten lazy… Lawrence gave/continues to give. strong nuanced performances American Hustle, and THG and XMen and hss sa hell of a screen presence.

      Hawke is an ok actor that really wants an Oscar, and is sounding like an actor who is a tad resentful that there is zero Oscar buzz for his performance in Boyhood.

    • Helo says:

      @MOMA: Oh please, Jennifer Lawrence earned her stripes when she was still a teenager in films like The Poker House, The Burning Plain, Like Crazy, et ., Anniston never showed that kind of range, talent. Hawke comes off a bit resentful but not awful.

      I agree with everyone who says he isn’t shading her performance, just worries that that much success will cause her to get lazy. C’mon, Hawke…she hasn’t at all.

      • misstee says:

        Cartoon and YA franchises are lazy money grabs no matter who you are – and that includes RDJ. There is so little range in the parts.

        Frankly I hope he IS shading her performance in American Hustle – it was really hammy.

      • Gill B says:

        Lawrence’s character in the Hunger Games is an exceptionally meaty role by any standards, and she really delivers in those films despite their mediocrity in other respects. As for her performance in AH, it obviously divides opinion. However, I thought it was tremendous. She brought real fire and charisma to what was a fairly inert film. Anyway, I doubt Hawke is criticising her for doing YA films – after all, he appeared in the (fairly feeble) re-make of Assault on Precinct 13. Now, if you want to talk about ‘hammy’ actors, Sean Penn on the other hand…

  26. Nicole says:

    That’s hot.

  27. Gill B says:

    Loved this interview! I thought he was spot on in everything he had to say. I don’t read him as shading J-Law’s performances, just as making the point that too much success too early can be disastrous for career development. (But then I don’t get why people dislike her performance in AH, I thought it was by far and away the best thing in a mediocre film.)

    • msd says:

      I don’t think it was even specifically about Jennifer. He used her as an example but I think more than anything he was criticising the kiss-ass nature of Hollywood. (You can tie your shoe laces? Amazing!! Here’s a trophy!). A little bit of failure and struggle can be healthy; it makes you want to get better.

  28. Ginger says:

    Not only does he look like my ex jerk fiance but he sounds like him too… highly intelligent but also arrogant. Somehow, I’m still drawn into what he’s saying. I think he gets away with it because he’s been around so long and he does have a large body of talent filled work to back up his bitching and bravado. I find his explanations of why he’s appeared in films like Sinister (which I liked and watched just because I was curious about Ethan Hawke in a horror film) and the Purge films (which I still haven’t seen) to be very intriguing. So is he doing these more mainstream films for the money to support his kids? Is he doing it to stretch himself artistically? Or is he just spinning a bunch of B.S.?

    Side note: My ex husband and I were at a Beat Generation exhibit in San Francisco many years ago and he ended up accidentally meeting Dennis Hopper in the bathroom. That’s what Ethan’s Clinton story reminded me of. We still laugh over that story. My ex always seemed to meet famous people randomly.

  29. MAC says:

    I just saw JL in Winter’s Bone and thought she was great in it.
    I have not seen her in anything else.
    Just putting it out there I enjoyed the movie.

    I read his full interview interesting read.

  30. Lucy says:

    He’s like, everything James Franco thinks he is but isn’t.

    • Kiddo says:

      Ahem, THE FRANCO knows no equal. He single-handedly brought a nation together in our darkest hour.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        @Kiddo – thank you helping me end this year with the reminder that we are all safe and saved, courtesy of THE FRANCO.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        My boyfriend actually BOUGHT The FRANCO’s film on itunes as a patriotic gesture; even though he has little intention of ever watching it.

  31. Jayna says:

    What a refreshing interview. I’ve always enjoyed his thoughts on the movie business, though, because he’s never chased the dollar. It doesn’t mean he’s a better actor than many that do. I’ve just always admired that he is true to himself. And I still find his performance in the last movie of the trilogy with Julie Delpy brilliant.

    I think it isn’t great for actors to get an Oscar so very young like Jennifer. I think she gave a great performance, but the pressure on her after that has to be in many way unbearable.

    When I go back and watch ’70s movies, it is amazing the body of work that was created by certain actors and directors.

  32. Blythe says:

    God knows I love Jennifer Lawrence. She doesn’t play the schtick of the clueless Kentucky girl in Hollywood. She really IS the clueless Kentucky girl in Hollywood. I thought she was a joke, but no. She is one of us! However, she did not deserve her Oscar. That performance was lukewarm in Silver Linings Playbook.

  33. Lilacflowers says:

    Kaiser: the Benedict Cumberbatch-Ethan Hawke conversation already happened in one of those actors roundtables , along with Michael Keaton, Timothy Spall, and Eddie Redmayne. Sorry, but BC really didn’t come off that well. Keaton and Spall owned it, Ethan more than held his own with interesting points and paid tribute to Keaton, while BC just mumbled his “Turing should be on money” speech and interrupted Eddie every single time he tried to speak.

  34. K.G. says:

    I met him when his first novel came out and he was pretty humble about it, I thought. Even a little insecure. And he gave an electrifying performance as a reading which blew the socks off the room. Charisma for days. Dude has the It factor.

    • Esmom says:

      I’ve never seen/met him but my friend was at one of his readings and said the same thing, said it was swoon-worthy.

  35. Kristen says:

    He does compare himself to Penn and Day-Lewis, but not in the way that’s implied: he’s saying that they’re really great transformative actors, and he can’t do that (i.e., he’s not that caliber of actor), so he tries to pick interesting projects that push him as much as he can be pushed.

  36. Gill B says:

    His interviews are always well worth a read, and I admire how he has over time built an impressive career. Having said that, its all very well and good for a male actor in his 40s to talk about the advantages of waiting for success, but as Perplexed says above female actresses like J-Law need to grab what they can, and quickly. They get less than 30% of the leading roles, and are judged on their looks to a much greater extent than their male counterparts. I always think about Claire Danes in this context – she has said herself that she spent a big chunk of the 2000s waiting for the right roles, and ended up being underemployed for years on end.

  37. Racer says:

    I really liked Ethan in Reality Bites

  38. shenasty says:

    I was never really an Ethan Hawke fan because he always looks squirrely but lately I’ve completely, 100% come around him to him and he’s absolutely right about so many things and seems really smart/well-adjusted.

  39. CK says:

    I’ll preface this by saying I’m a fan and I usually find Ethan Hawke to be phenomenal in the movies, I’ve seen him in. Now in reference to the comment, he should probably take a seat. It’s oddly reminiscent of the black elitist conundrum that we experienced with the first Obama election. He was damned if he did, and damned if he didn’t. The very fact that he was an “elite” ivy educated black man that only made his ascent to power possible was somehow now a negative. The same situation exists with young actresses, either you get success out of the gate, or you get replaced by someone younger or prettier. There’s little to no time to build unless you do it in obscurity and somehow find your way back in. Where is Carey Mulligan? Dakota Fanning? Haley Steinfeld? Gabourey Sidibe? Abigail Breslin? When was the last time you saw them lead a major motion picture? If J.Law wasn’t successful, hyped, and critically acclaimed, then there would be no, point blank. So Ethan holding it against her here sounds like it is coming from a “I did this, so obviously you can do it too” state of mind, when given the way Hollywood works, that is clearly not the case. She’s not Taylor Kitsch, someone that Hollywood is clearly still trying to make happen.

  40. noway says:

    He is an interesting interview! However, I don’t see any similarities between Scorsese and O’Russell’s work. I like both of them as directors, but I think they are very different in their direction and tone of films. I certainly wouldn’t call American Hustle an imitation of a Scorsese film. Why because he had some gangster’s in it and used Deniro? If that was the case you could say Scorsese’s Good Fellas was an imitation of the Godfather and Coppola? That seems pretty superficial. It would be fun to have an artistic discussion with Ethan. I hope they asked about Robin Williams in this interview.

    I think with the Jennifer Lawrence comments he probably wasn’t really trying to say that she isn’t talented or hasn’t been talented in her films, although he doesn’t seem to like David O’Russell so maybe that is where it is coming from. I think he was saying that she is so hot now she could win an Oscar by just about anything, and that kind of success is hard to live with when you are young.

  41. Veronica says:

    I think he has a fair point about hitting your peak too soon. J. Law has another year of riding high on her two franchises before she really has to prove her mettle outside of the big sellers, and we’ll see how her career continues after that. Maybe she’ll be okay with stepping outside the massive spotlight for awhile, maybe she won’t. Who knows. She’s good enough at disappearing between films that it may speak to enough maturity to handle losing the constant high.

    I don’t know if I agree with his point about “Wolf on Wall Street.” I feel like a three hour film highlighting misogyny and the debauchery of the ultra wealthy is only profound to…well, anyone who isn’t being forcefed misogyny and the fallout of American greed on a regular basis, i.e. wealthy white men.

  42. Daisy jones says:

    Jennifer Lawrence is the most overrated actress of her generation. I could name many other actresses who are much better than her. I totally agree with Hawke. She didn’t deserve that Oscar, Emanuelle Riva did.

    • Hallie K says:

      Hawke didn’t say she didn’t deserve the Oscar, you’re projecting your views onto him. He’s actually making a very reasonable point: early success often wrecks careers. He’s not saying Lawrence’s success is undeserved. I’m also genuinely curious as to who in her generation you think is better than her. Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander maybe, who are going to be the great talents of the next few few decades – but J-Law is a star with charisma who can act, and there aren’t many others better than her. Well, happy New Year to all – looking forward to coming more often to this excellent board next year.

  43. Isabelle says:

    He comes off as like his character in Reality Bites. He’s very much is a on the paper defined Gen X’er.

  44. Meg says:

    I agree it’s an interesting interview, but ethan hawk has always given me such a creepy vibe. I remember a love scene in one of his films with angelina jolie, and while she was nearly 100% nude he was 100% fully clothed-which I thought was funny. the filmmakers were like, yeah, no one is interested in seeing you at all in this scene

  45. HoustonGrl says:

    Ugh!!! I still love him, ever since training day. He’s pretty real, by Hollywood standards.

  46. manta says:

    I don’t mind the name dropping if the names in question are River Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Woody Harrelson and the guy who drops them calls them brilliant.

    Has he anything to say about Dafoe? Daybreakers is a guilty pleasure of mine.

  47. perplexed says:

    I wonder if he realizes that statistically most of the female stars hit enormous success at 23 or so when they are at their slimmest and dewiest. The untalented ones like Megan Fox flame out, but if you’re decent like Jennifer Lawrence you will have people giving things to you until they feel you’re not needed anymore. Heck, even Julia Roberts, who was enormously successful at 23, got an Oscar nomination for Pretty Woman. Then there are the weird cases like Natalie Portman who get great things predicted for them when they’re 12. Cases like Jessica Chastain are much rarer. Maybe he needs to go talk to Isabella Rossellini.

    I don’t know if Miles Teller is enormously successful, but he does have a big ego and the tiniest bit of success seems to have inflated his already existing arrogance, so maybe he could have cited him instead as someone who thinks he’s better than he really is and probably won’t grow as an actor.

    • Veronica says:

      That’s more why I think it’s premature to say J.Law is waiting to flame out. Men can expect good roles their whole career – women have to jump on whatever is available. So yeah, I get that people are frustrated she won the Oscar for what was one of her less interesting characters, but I don’t resent her for that. The fault lies with the Academy that makes older female performances less valuable, who allowed the Oscars to become a campaign popularity contest. I don’t blame her for rising the wave of success.

      As for her performances…she’s yet to really disappoint me, but if we’re talking about limited range in female characters, who’s at fault for that? The actress or the man that wrote the part in the first place?

      • perplexed says:

        I think actresses, whether they’re at the top of the heap or not, are also scrutinized a lot in terms of other areas. A lot of accolades may be given to Jennifer Lawrence, but she also probably has to deal with people telling her how she must look or how much she must weigh, and it would probably require a lot of chats with a therapist to resist that kind of criticism if we are to go by all the pics of women in Hollywood tweaking their faces. I doubt anyone is going to tell Ethan Hawke to get rid of the clothes he’s wearing in the photo above or to dye the grey in his beard.

  48. I saw him once in a store in Manhattan. We made eye contact, and he looked like he was thinking, “Please don’t recognize me.” I hope that I conveyed what I was thinking, which was, “Dude, I really don’t want to.”

    I know someone who Knew Him When, and Hawke is one of those people who doesn’t have time for you if you don’t meet whatever his personal criteria are. And these quotes? Fit my bad impression of him.

  49. Bella bella says:

    Funny line about Tarantino.

    Ethan Hawke sounds like he’d be fun to talk to. I like how he talks about movies and talks about the realities of the business. Like that line about how innovative camerawork has become acceptable to producers but not innovative plots or structure. (Though “The One I Love” managed to get made, and that was good storytelling in my book.)

    Also love how he articulates Linklater’s style:

    “We wrote Before Sunset and Before Midnight while we were working on Boyhood, and all those films are all about time. One is time in romantic relationships, and one is time in family. Rick has replaced plot with time. But most movies are sprints, like how Woody Allen does it…”

    Boyhood is an extraordinary accomplishment. Ethan Hawke was so good in it. And I truly hope those Academy folks will remember Patricia Arquette’s brilliant acting in that movie as well, and nominate her for an award. She and Hawke were both so very real.

  50. Victoria Pope says:

    Sigh. I mean I guess, but he’s so annoying.

  51. bns says:

    He’s right.