Two weeks before his visit in Romania, Ethan Hawke – the actor who made unforgettable roles in films like Gattaca, Training Day or Before Sunrise and Before Sunset – offered us an exclusive interview. The star speaks, with the depth of people who found their own truths in life, about acting and people he cherishes.
What was the most surprising thing you learned through acting?
How to listen. How to hear what others are really saying and to respond to that, not to my own preconceived ideas.
What do you dislike about the world today? What would you change, if you were able to?
I think it’s always a balance between trying to be simply grateful that we are alive at all – and trying to be an agent of change and fighting the fact that the world is so hopelessly unfair. Most people are uncomfortable being around poor, uneducated, or disabled people, and their discomfort often makes them behave callously. I once had a puppy, a very sweet animal who liked every person and every dog he saw. But one day he saw a three-legged dog on the street and he growled at it. He saw something strange about that other dog and it frightened him. I think people are like that. It’s something that we have to recognize and overcome in ourselves.
On June 26 I will be in Bucharest to premiere my latest movie, Before Midnight, in support of early education for all. As a father I know how important it is to talk to your kids from a very early age. And I know from my mother, that for children who don’t get talked to a whole lot when they are little, preschool is critical for their brain development.
If you could choose only one of your characters and put it in a time capsule, which one would it be?
I wouldn’t be any of those characters. I would put Huckleberry Finn (by Mark Twain) in a time capsule, because I love him and want him to live forever. Huck Finn has such honesty combined with a spirit of generosity and good will.
Do you think there is anything wrong in the way people generally see you, as an actor and as a person?
I try not to think about how other people “see” me, I love to be understood by the people I am close to – my wife, my children, my friends, and of course my parents – we never get over caring about our parents’ opinions, even if we want to. But to care about the opinion of people I don’t know and who don’t know me, would be a big mistake, I think. Of course, nobody likes to get “bad press”, but it comes with the territory of being famous, and you just have to let it bounce off you – and remember that for every unfair criticism, a celebrity also gets praise he probably doesn’t deserve.
What are the most precious things in life for you?
Friendship. There is a line in Before Sunrise to the effect of: If there is any kind of God, it must exist in the space between each of us, in our connection with each other. I always loved that line and hold it to be true.
Did you write that line?
Gosh, I don’t remember exactly who wrote that line!
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Get tickets to the Before Midnight premiere
Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, director of Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight, will be in Bucharest on June 26 to encourage early education for Romania’s poorest children and to premiere their latest movie, Before Midnight. The event will be called Before It’s Too Late to play on the name of the movie and its two popular prequels – and most importantly, to remind people that attention MUST be paid to poor children’s early intellectual development – before it is too late to impact their success in school.The Hollywood actor and director will answer questions about the film in a Q&A session at the end of the screening, which will be followed by an after-party. The fundraiser will take place at Palatul Copiilor, in Bucharest. Tickets to the Film Premiere, Q&A and After Party are 35 euros (buy here), but the event will also include a VIP Reception with Hawke and Linklater. To attend both, tickets will cost 300 euros. More on OvidiuRo.Semnat de Corina Stoica