I'm Ethan Hawke. I started acting at fourteen; DEAD POETS SOCIETY, BEFORE SUNRISE, REALITY BITES, GATTACA, TRAINING DAY, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD and SINISTER to name a few. I've also acted in a ton of plays, written a couple books, and directed a couple movies. Right now I have 2 movies coming out; BEFORE MIDNIGHT and THE PURGE. What do you want to know?

EDIT: thank you so much for these awesome questions. I have to roll out, but this was fun. I'll be back.

Comments: 5199 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

SnookSnook2195 karma

I notice you own an island. What's the best part of island ownership?

iamethanhawke3051 karma

I own an 8 acre island off the coast of Nova Scotia; there are eagles, and seals, and raccoons, and pine trees for days. Believe it or not, land is actually quite affordable up there, and it's still rugged and un-gentrified. The people are straightforward and a pleasure to be around; I try to take my kids up there at least once a year. It's a place to disappear in the many times in my life when I've needed to.

SnookSnook1872 karma

What's the buying process like when shopping for an island? Did you look at more than one?

iamethanhawke3096 karma

That's a funny question, and deserves to be answered. One does not shop for an island; I have friends in Nova Scotia, and often visited them, one of whom was an older woman who could no longer take care of her island, and she asked 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.

Butcher_Of_Hope1688 karma

Now you have the beginning of a evil genius mega fortress. Who would think to look for it off the coast of Nova Scotia?

iamethanhawke3197 karma

I just need a few henchmen. Apply on Craigslist.

Bran_Solo1974 karma

This is a fantastic ama, thank you writing such thoughtful and detailed replies!

All my questions have been answered already, so all I have to say is thank you and hello.

iamethanhawke3060 karma

Hey, my pleasure, this has been fun! I've never done this before. It's such a relief not to have to answer questions on camera, and to have time to think about it. I always have a panic attack when I'm on one of those talk shows, and the cameras blaring in your face, and you have the pressure to be witty - it makes me want to crawl under a couch.

FoxtrotUniformCharli1920 karma

I have always wondered about this.

When making a horror or scary movie with children, what do they do to keep the kids (younger ones) from being completely messed up from the really dark stuff? Do they just do some sort of interview and casting stuff to make sure the kids are mature enough and realize it's all made up? Is it just not that creepy while actually shooting the creepy stuff?

iamethanhawke2703 karma

GREAT question! As a child actor myself, I'm incredibly sensitive to this and kind of hate acting with kids for all the same concerns that are present in your question. But with a scary movie, it surprised me, because kids love to play. They love costumes, they love Halloween. The kids on-set treated the making of the movie as if we were all doing an elaborate haunted house; think about it, kids love to play Hide & Seek, they love to scare you and each other, and I was really relieved to see them all playing and laughing and understanding the spirit of a good ghost story. It really wasn't difficult for them at all.

bleeker_street1330 karma

What's the most difficult scene you've had to preform and what made it so difficult?

iamethanhawke2628 karma

There's a scene when my character Jake in TRAINING DAY is left for dead with a Mexican cholo gang; that still haunts my dreams sometimes. Also...

People don't ever want to hear this, because it destroys the fantasy, but anytime you have to kiss anybody, it's never stopped being strange.

natethekiwi1194 karma

Hey Mr. Hawke,

Any advice for a wannabe scriptwriter in college?



iamethanhawke3405 karma

Write every day. Not every other day. Not tomorrow. Not after the party. But before. The more you write, the more comes out of you. If you don't give inspiration an opportunity, it will never arrive.

cshaxercs1187 karma

Big fan of you, especially after Training Day.
1.What inspired you to become an actor?
2.How did you get your first big acting gig? Did it turn out a lot better than you thought?
3.How was it filming for Training day with Denzel Washington?
4.What was the best experience you had filming and worst?
5.Who was one actor/actress your dying to work with, and why?
Thanks for answering my questions :)

iamethanhawke2702 karma

1) What inspired me to become an actor? I saw Gary Sinise and John Malkovich do Sam Shepherd's play TRUE WEST on PBS when I was 13. And I can only describe the feeling as the way I hear people talk about Marlon Brando do STREETCAR; I felt like a door in my brain had been opened.

2) My first big acting gig was EXPLORERS; we have our own spaceship. And I auditioned for it on an absolute lark, and much to my parents' dismay, got the part. And did it turn out better than I thought? No... I thought it was going to be one of the greatest films of all time, you know, making ET look like a minor gameshow. And - point in fact - it wasn't out a whole weekend and I went from the envy of my peers to the butt of all their jokes in a very hot second. But in hindsight, I can honestly say that nothing better could have happened to me. A) it prevented me from being a child actor; B) it prepared me for the inevitable failure that comes in a life of the arts and if you can't handle it you have to get out quick.

3) To my mind, Denzel Washington is the greatest movie star of our time. There's nothing he can't do. And TRAINING DAY is for me like threading a needle; it's very difficult to make a hit movie, and it's very difficult to make a good movie, and very rarely can you accomplish both at the same time. And Denzel does it over and over again.

4) Best experience has to be the BEFORE series, just because I was involved in the writing of those movies, and they become intensely personal for me. The worst, you never want to talk about because it gets overly quoted on the internet as soon as you say something bad about something or someone, it's all anyone wants to talk about. But I spent many lonely months and years in hotel rooms feeling like I was making a piss-poor movie and been depressed about it.

5) Is it okay if I say Leonardo DiCaprio? Because I know he's crazy famous and everyone wants to work with him, but I admire tremendously the way he has handled his celebrity. After the success of TITANIC, it would have been very easy for him to wind up another drug-addled casualty on the Hollywood Strip; but instead he's dedicated himself to making great films and doesn't he need an older brother? Or a bad guy? Isn't there a role for me somewhere?

Smerphy426 karma

That was you in Explorers? I really love that movie.

iamethanhawke847 karma

It was me and River Phoenix and Jason Presson.

forgetsalot340 karma

i still love that movie, thank you. do you still enjoy Tang?

iamethanhawke1410 karma

I will always have a soft spot for Tang, no matter how vile it tastes, because when my father and I used to go camping, for breakfast we would have granola bars and Tang. For lunch we would have wolf's chili and Tang. And for dinner we would have hot dogs and Tang.

TheReasonableCamel1131 karma

What was working with Nick Cage like in Lord of War?

iamethanhawke2950 karma

I'm kind of obsessed with Nic Cage. I just found out about /r/onetruegod too. He's the only actor since Marlon Brando that's actually done anything new with the art of acting; he's successfully taken us away from an obsession with naturalism into a kind of presentation style of acting that I imagine was popular with the old troubadours. If I could erase his bottom half bad movies, and only keep his top half movies, he would blow everyone else out of the water. He's put a little too much water in his beer, but he is still one of the great actors of our time. And working with him was an absolute pleasure. In fact, one of my favorite scenes I've ever done is the last scene in LORD OF WAR.

5T0RM1053 karma

Want to start off by saying thank you for doing this, and that you are truly an amazing actor. How hard is it to be a famous movie star in regards to privacy, constantly being photographed, people outside your home etc.?

iamethanhawke2256 karma

My kids and I always have a debate about if the positives outweigh the negatives. Great seats to the Nicks game vs. being hounded for autographs at halftime. Every give has a take. For me, the blessings far outweigh the curses. I consider it a kind of luxury tax. For my family, I think it's more difficult; they don't get to work with Denzel Washington and Sidney Lumet, but they still have the paparazzi.

T1mac974 karma

Did you have any inkling that Before Sunrise would turn into a trilogy?

Did you and Julie Delpy have a different approach to your roles in this movie compared to the first two films?

Will there be a fourth?

BTW, you were great in Gattaca. I love that film.

iamethanhawke1681 karma

If you had told me at the wrap party for BEFORE SUNRISE that I would still be talking about this movie 20 years later, I would have thought you were insane. We knew we had a special experience, but I definitely thought it was over. After the second film, I did kind of feel that we had left something unfinished, and that's why I'm enjoying the release of BEFORE MIDNIGHT so much - I've been worrying about it for 9 years.

The approach has been incredibly consistent; the whole way we've worked on the movies has almost been like there was no time in between them at all, in fact they started to feel like one film in my head.

Sometimes I think yes, sometimes I think no - we really won't know until about 5 or 6 years from now. I'm sure Rick and Julie and I will get together, and either we will have a shared sense about what's happened to Jesse and Celine, or we won't. I just won't know until then whether we're going to feel compelled to make it. They're an incredible amount of work, so I know none of us will embark on it if we don't have a good idea.

That film - GATTACA - is made by a man named Andrew Niccol. He wrote THE TRUMAN SHOW, IN TIME, and another movie I did called LORD OF WAR - a lot of people haven't seen LORD OF WAR, but to my mind it's a brilliant movie. I have a small part in it, but Nic Cage is phenomenal, and so is the writing.

T1mac1196 karma

Nic Cage gets a lot of grief here on Reddit, but he's done many great movies and the opening scene in Lord of War is an all time classic.

iamethanhawke1489 karma

Agreed, I think it is one of the great opening shots of all time.

iepartytracks844 karma

how old will real life Ethan Hawke be when the science of Gattaca is commonplace? Also, not a question, but I recently discovered that my wife had never seen Explorers, so we tracked it down and I forced her to watch it Clockwork Orange style, except that we had popcorn and none of the terror.

iamethanhawke1499 karma

Well, did she like EXPLORERS?

Regarding GATTACA, the scary thing is how prescient it's turning out to be, in that its primary statement that seemed radical at the time that we made it was that in the future our identity - our place of work - would be more powerful than our identity to any country. And more and more, I see that happening, where there are a handful of corporations that determine the choices of our life more than our presidents and prime ministers. And then obviously genetic discrimination, which is becoming a wildly interesting subject matter. I'd like to recommend Andrew Solomon's book FAR FROM THE TREE - it's an excellent book on the subject of how our differences are what make us human, and what we perceive as disability is quite often something very different.

Maxwyfe820 karma

In The Purge, all crime is legal for one night. If you could commit any crime, aside from murder, which crime would you most like to commit and why?

iamethanhawke2357 karma

If I could do anything without repercussions, I would become the world's biggest badass, most fierce environmental terrorist. I would make all the bastards who profit from destroying our planet regret the day they were born. Think natural-born vigilante.

Maxwyfe476 karma

Hmmm, Bitchslap an oil executive? I dig that.

Thank you for your AMA. I'm a long time fan and appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. See you on the big screen this weekend!

iamethanhawke630 karma

Thank you!

GroinSniper743 karma

How scary is Phillip Seymour Hoffman in real life?

iamethanhawke1373 karma

When I first met Phil, he was often the reader when I would go in to audition for something - the kind of actor that wasn't going to get the part, but he was good, so they hired him to read with all the other guys auditioning. He was intimidating then, and he's intimidating now. What a lot of people don't know about him is that he's a member of the Labyrinth Theater company here in New York, and is a truly phenomenal theatrical director. His production of THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT is one of the best evenings in the theatre I've ever spent.

Mom-said-its-wrong670 karma


I have no questions for you. Just came here to say GATTACA, for anyone who missed this late 90s sci-fi movie that totally stands the test of time. For the thinker-sci-fi fans, you must see GATTACA.

In addition to Uma Thurman being gorgeous and statuesque, Jude Law pairs up to make the most unlikely buddy sub-plot. This is also Ethan Hawke's finest acting ever, IMHO.

Like most Americans, I've absorbed thousands upon thousands of movies. GATTACA is in my all-time top 5, always.

(perhaps I should have simply written an IMDB review - ah well)

iamethanhawke664 karma

I am this day hoping to hear news about a new Andrew Niccol film that he may want to cast me in. I really would like to work with him again.

Tannlin654 karma

Were you aware of Reddit before this AMA? Do you think you'll be back, (even if it's just to lurk)?

What do you do with your "down time"?

iamethanhawke1356 karma

This is my first day of my life having any idea that this site even exists; I'm having a ball at the exact moment, and I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow. You could really do an interesting scene in a play based on reddit though...

In my downtime, I hang out with my children. I have a 2 year old, a 5 year old, an 11 year old and a 15 year old, so there's always somebody that wants some attention.

mrsbass79616 karma

What was it like working with river Phoenix?

iamethanhawke1625 karma

River was one of those people that had that strange magic glow around them; he could drive you crazy, or make you fall in love with him, sometimes in the same minute. I remember knowing he was special when in the first days of filming EXPLORERS - we were staying in a motel outside of San Francisco, and I saw him practicing his character's walk in the parking lot one of the mornings before shooting began. Uncommon behavior for a 13-year old. He had a big, beautiful family, and was the first vegetarian I ever met.

Geniemist557 karma

Hey Mr. Hawke, who are some of the directors you admire and would like to work with in the future?

iamethanhawke1103 karma

You know, I've never worked with Spike Lee, and I just think he is one of the most interesting filmmakers around. Time has proved him to be the real thing. But the truth is that if I could only make one more movie, and I could make it with anyone in the world, I would really want to make another movie with Richard Linklater. Ever since I saw SLACKER, and DAZED AND CONFUSED, I feel like he's had a very rare and unique voice in movies. And as an actor, that's always the highest bar, to be a part of something that could feasibly be original. That's the hardest thing to accomplish.

DoctaWorm540 karma

What's your most memorable moment while filming Dead Poets Society?

What was Robin Williams like on set of that film?

Thanks for doing this!

Edit: I just thought of another question! What actor would you like to work with be it film or stage!

iamethanhawke983 karma

The most memorable scene was the "I sound my barbaric yawp from the rooftops of the world" scene; I had to make up a poem in front of the classroom, and it was the only time I really had to "work" with Robin Williams. And I feel like it was the first time I was ever really challenged to act.

I think I've already answered what actor I would like to work with - Leo! - but thank you for your questions.

bumblebee1211516 karma

I really enjoy your work in sci-fi and thrillers and I think you deserve more acclaim. Also, do you think there will be a sequel to Daybreakers? It seemed like there was room for that.

iamethanhawke971 karma

You know, I feel the same way - my hope is that that movie was going to be much more successful than it was. The guys who made it, the Spierig Brothers, are two young men who are crazy-talented and when we started shooting that movie, TWILIGHT hadn't come out, TRUE BLOOD hadn't come out, I was excited because I thought it was time for a new vampire film. little did I know, but by the time the fx were done, vampires would be passe. We had a hope that DAYBREAKERS would be our MAD MAX to a much better film that could be THE ROAD WARRIOR - because those guys, if ever given a big budget, could really accomplish something major I think. I just worked with them again, in a film called PREDESTINATION - and I have a secret hope that it's going to be really special. It's based on a Robert Heinlein short story called "All You Zombies" and it aspires to be the greatest time travel movie ever made.

willdill491 karma

Here are some unusual questions for you:

1) What kind of music do you listen to?

2) Do you play any instruments? If so, which ones?

3) Any cool hobbies we show know about?

4) If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?


iamethanhawke1895 karma

1) Well, recently, believe it or not, I went into a huge Elvis Presley hole. After not listening to him my whole life, I took my daughter to Graceland and ended up feeling extremely moved by the plight of poor Mr. Presley. And I've become obsessed with his music recently. Generally though Connor Oberst is one of the best singer-songwriters, Wilco is one of my favorite bands, and when in doubt, I will put on a Willie Nelson record.

2) I played the guitar since Robert taught me how to play on DEAD POETS SOCIETY but unfortunately I've never had a lesson since then, so I'm not very good.

3) No... I'm so lucky, so much of what I would do as a hobby I do for my professional life. I love what I do. And I get to shake it up by directing in a movie, acting in a movie, directing a play, writing a book, acting in a play - i've found a way over the years to continue to shake up my job so it remains interesting to me. I'm one of the handful of people who doesn't want a hobby because I'd rather be doing my job.

4) I don't want to say. You know, the things that we want to change about our lives are things we don't want everybody to know, and one of the most difficult things for me was having to learn in front of the public that having a reputation is a double-edged sword. It prevents me from making a first impression. I feel like I haven't made a first impression on anyone in 20 years. There are many things about my life and my behavior that I wish I could change, situations I wish I could have handled better, relationships I could have healed, but unfortunately the earth seems to turn one way and all we can do is try to learn.

whatisdigrat470 karma

Hello Mr. Hawke,

Loving the work of yours I've seen, especially the before series. But, my first introduction to you (and Kurt) was through a Slaughterhouse Five audiobook (that is you, right?) Now I have read almost all of Vonnegut's work and sub consciously narrate it in your voice still. You nailed the wit and morose prose that I have come to associate with his work, I love it!

So naturally I am curious about how you came about that role.

iamethanhawke910 karma

I went to a Kurt Vonnegut reading at the 92nd street Y, because I too am a big Vonnegut fan - SLAPSTICK, GALAPAGOS, SIRENS OF TITAN, and BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS being among my favorites. I told him all of this, and a couple weeks later, I got a message from my agent saying I'd been requested to do the reading - I don't know if those 2 were connected, but I imagine that they were. Later I heard via the grapevine that he LOVED that reading and it made me really happy. I remember when we met I told him how much I loved SLAPSTICK and he said it wasn't a very good book.

TheDankestMofo463 karma

First of all, your performance as Jesse in the Before films is one of the most natural ones I’ve ever seen, and while I probably won’t get a chance to see Midnight in theaters, these films showcase one of the most realistic depictions of love and relationships ever. So, thank you for that.

Can you talk about your experience so far with Boyhood, and what it’s like filming with the same actors over a period of years as opposed to weeks or months (especially when the lead is so young and developing personally and professionally)?

iamethanhawke975 karma

First up, I guess I should tell people what BOYHOOD is. It's a project also known as THE TWELVE YEAR PROJECT; Richard Linklater and I have made a short film every year for the last 11 years, one more to go, that follows the development of a young boy from age 6 to 18. I play the father, and it's Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought the BEFORE series was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of 7 when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor - to watch his voice and body morph - it's a little bit like timelapse photography of a human being. I can't wait for people to see it.

Next year, he will graduate high school and we will finish the film. It will probably come out in 2 years.

In regards to your compliments on the BEFORE series, I wish you could see MIDNIGHT in theatres. Is it money, health or distance that keeps you from going out? Thanks for your support. If you like the first two, I feel pretty confident the third one will be worth your time.

TheDankestMofo296 karma

It's mostly distance; as I understand, it's only a NY/LA release and while I live not far away in the Philadelphia area I probably will not have time to take the trip to see it. Nevertheless, I'm really psyched for both that and Boyhood;if I can't see them in theaters they'll definitely be blind buys on DVD. Thanks for doing this AMA!

Edit: It seems I was wrong, and that it will be getting a wider release (including Philly) this month. Thanks to everyone for the heads-up!

iamethanhawke415 karma

My pleasure, great!

BowtiesAndF1438 karma

Cats or dogs?

iamethanhawke1440 karma

Well, I have a dog named Nina and a cat named Rascal. If I had to choose, I'd have to choose the one that loves me back.

ransom-notes417 karma


iamethanhawke1277 karma

Chips and salsa. I could eat it for every meal.

ArchangelleYOLO397 karma

Hey Mr. Hawke, there was a thread yesterday on /r/askreddit about plot holes, and this was one of the most popular posts:

"The Purge... What kind of high tech house and security system that protects every point of entry has an 'Arm/Disarm' button? No codes, not fingerprint scanner? Just a big green and red button. Give me a break."

Did you guys realize this while filming?

iamethanhawke1434 karma

The fun of any futuristic movie is giving over to it. If i could fully imagine the alarm systems of the future, I wouldn't be an actor.

Scarykidscaringkids390 karma


If actual Ethan Hawke, my boyf looks like you. Therefore I LOVE YOU LOTS.

Edit: Question I deleted:

How is The Purge different to 'normal', run of the mill scary films?

iamethanhawke1390 karma

BTW it looks like you deleted your initial reply but here's what I wrote:

What I like about the movie is it operates as an allegory. It's set in the "future" when rich people don't care about the violence done to poor people. All good genre films to my mind should have a subversive, anti-Government, punk rock sensibility. For example, THE WARRIORS, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THEY LIVE, THE THING... it should never just be scary. It should be scary plus give you something to think about. And if you can watch THE PURGE and watch that young African-American run for his life through a gated community and not think of Trayvon Martin, then you will definitely miss the point of THE PURGE.

iamethanhawke753 karma

I like your boyfriend, he sounds great. And yes it's really me.


go2miki363 karma

Hi Ethan What was the most impressive in the advice of Sidney Lumet ? Many fans are waiting. Please come to Japan!! Love you always!

iamethanhawke722 karma

It will always be one of my greatest honors was to act in Sidney Lumet's last film. It was such a strange experience to be directed by a man who directed Marlon Brando in his prime, who directed Al Pacino in DOG DAY AFTERNOON, Faye Dunaway in NETWORK...

If you're really interested in his advice, he has a really wonderful book called MAKING MOVIES; I remember I read almost the whole thing on the floor of the Barnes & Noble here in Manhattan when I was about 20 years old. He has a very no-bullshit approach; he talks about making movies almost the way one would talk about building a home. No fanfare, no mystery, just brass tacks. And he pushed Phil Hoffman, Marisa Tomei and I to some of our finest work, and all of us are grateful. And if I had to boil his advice down to one thing, it would be preparation.

cameroncroweknows343 karma

So excited to see you here. You have been my favorite performer since I was a little girl, obsessing over “Dead Poets Society” and “Reality Bites”. You seem to be able to act with such effortlessness, it genuinely appears that you aren’t even acting. The “Before...” movies and “Tape” are absolutely mesmerizing. And you’re a novelist! I just basically wanted to gush and tell you that you are the cat’s pajamas.

iamethanhawke538 karma

Well, thank you - anybody who likes TAPE is a friend of mine.

passing_gas339 karma

Hey, you're from Austin, TX. Any favorite local bands?

iamethanhawke777 karma

There's a cool indie band from Philadelphia called The Blood Feathers; they're not from Austin, but I would like to give them a plug, they are terrific.

iamethanhawke562 karma

Well, my favorite Austin musician is Guy Clark, one of the great songwriters in country music. A real Austin hero. But goddamn, there are so many great bands, it is hard to say.

Confliction329 karma

Has anyone ever told you that you look a bit like Gordon Freeman, from the video game Half-Life?

iamethanhawke1269 karma

No, they haven't, but I just looked at his picture and he looks a little bit creepy. Do I look that creepy? One of the things that sucks about getting older is that you start to look kind of creepy...

wojtech300 karma

I love scary movies, and Sinister really scared the shit out of me. Were there any parts during filming/when you were watching the final film that you freaked you out or caught you completely off guard?

iamethanhawke589 karma

The thing that really caught me off-guard was how much fun it was to make a scary movie. I'd spent my whole career avoiding them, I think because I thought it would be terrifying to do one. But that's like assuming a comedy would be fun to shoot; it's not, necessarily. There was a real feeling on the set of SINISTER of that goofy, edgy feeling that you get when a friend tells a story around a campfire late at night and everybody gets the chills. It's just as funny as it is scary. You need a good director to make a scary movie. The difference between a moment being terrifying and a moment being laughably stupid has to do with the music and the cutting; I felt in that film a real beneficiary of Scott Derrickson's direction.

Snakeruler265 karma

Which was the freakiest scene of The Purge to shoot? Me and my girlfriend went to see it on it's release, great film!

iamethanhawke590 karma

The whole movie was freaky. The concept is freaky. Every day of the shoot was kind of intense and surreal. Hard for me to pinpoint, but the actor who plays the main villain - Rhys Wakefield - his performance seemed like he was channeling Satan himself. So I would have to say anytime I acted with him.

TheLandSurveyor258 karma

Hey and thanks for doing this. I was wondering, because I remember seeing "Before Sunrise" for the first time and, in the opening scenes, getting all these preconceptions from just looking at the characters. So it was really interesting just hearing their conversations and slowly adjusting those ideas and I think it worked in a really natural way. So I was wondering how it works when you write all those conversations where they're not obviously tied to the overall plot of the film. Like in "Before Sunset" with the conversation about if the world is getting worse or somehow better with people understanding it's problems. Is it easy to put yourself into it?

iamethanhawke1004 karma

When we set out to make BEFORE SUNRISE, Julie and I had a lot of apprehension about the level of dialogue Linklater wanted to be in the movie. "Nothing's happening! Shouldn't it at least be funny? Is this boring?" and Rick answered that he'd never been in a helicopter crash, he'd never been involved in any espionage, he'd never been to Outer Space, and yet his life felt full of drama. And the most dramatic thing that ever happened to him was the experience of truly connecting with another person. And he really wanted to try to make a movie about that, about that connection, about that exchange of energy, ideas, and all the dialogue in BEFORE SUNRISE, SUNSET and MIDNIGHT is chasing that connection. So whether it's about politics, love, identity, spiritual yearning, sex - anything at all - it's written with the goal of trying to uncover "the space between" two people.

coffeeandme220 karma

I love all of your movies Ethan!! What's your favorite place to visit?

iamethanhawke613 karma

You know, we set the opening of BEFORE SUNSET in a bookstore in Paris called Shakespeare And Company, and I think that would have to go down as my favorite place to visit. It's right there on the Seine overlooking Notre Dame and has a long history of some of the great minds in literature passing through the doors, and there's a feel there that is unlike any other place I've ever been.

squeezyshoes209 karma

Hi Ethan! I loved your performance in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, and I'm looking forward to seeing Before Midnight as soon as it opens in a nearby theater. Since there were three people who had their hand in writing the screenplay for Before Midnight, does that mean you all had equal influence over what the characters said and did, or did you and Delpy get to have creative influence only with respect to your own characters?

iamethanhawke414 karma

I imagine that it would be easy to think that Julie writes her dialogue and I write mine; the truth is that the three of us, Richard, Julie and myself, sit in a room for somewhere around 10-12 weeks and talk about Jesse and Celine. We talk about where they might be developmentally, and Julie has helped construct Jesse as much as I've helped construct Celine, and Richard is a big part of both those characters as well. In the first one, we largely wrote our own dialogue, because there was a pre-existing script, but in the second and third, the three of us, from outline-forward, were a part of every line.

greeneyedoneder186 karma

Hello Ethan! I have my copies of The Hottest State and Ash Wednesday right here with me. I really enjoy the way you developed these characters in the book in such a way that I felt I really knew them. Any new novels coming our way? Have you considered updating us on these characters?

iamethanhawke326 karma

Yes, I have a third novel that is at the publisher's office now and this summer, I am going to dedicate a couple months to proofreading it and getting it ready for you to read. I don't know if I'm going to be revisiting the same characters, but I'm definitely revisiting the same themes.

july2061184 karma

Do you get much time to write in between movies? And do you write regularly, in one place, have any weird writing habits or lucky charms? (ps write more books please!)

iamethanhawke385 karma

Well, the funny thing is, I've been working on 3 different projects over the past 10 years writing-wise, and that's why it's taken me so long to finish. I have a novel that is almost done, I was worried I'd published ASH WEDNESDAY too quickly after THE HOTTEST STATE. I think I was too anxious to prove to myself that I wasn't a dilettante, and I wrote the second book a little too quickly. I've challenged myself on the third to take more time with it. Four kids have challenged me too. But I will finish my third novel this summer.

Simultaneously, I've finished a YA book that will come out soon as well. I've been writing the text for a graphic novel that Greg Ruth will illustrate- he did an amazing book called BORN ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

So I've been working on these three projects for the past 10 years, and I haven't finished any of them! But I'm working on it. I try to challenge myself to simply keep a journal, and to write a little bit every day, whether I'm making a movie or not making a movie. That way, when I do have time, when I'm not working as an actor, I have material I can draw from and start to work with.

bad_fish87180 karma

Mr. Hawke,

Thanks for all of the great movies.

I enjoyed Brooklyn's Finest quite a bit. Did you enjoy making that movie?

iamethanhawke339 karma

I know you're supposed to say this kind of thing, but it's one of my favorite films that I've done. I know that audiences have always loved TRAINING DAY, but in many ways, BROOKLYN'S FINEST is the East coast sequel. Antoine Fuqua (who directed both films) has a real special feel for capturing the street. And both Jake (from TRAINING DAY) and Sal (from BROOKLYN'S FINEST) are two of my favorite characters that I've gotten to play; one the good guy, one the bad guy.

Rocky_Face171 karma

I saw the Tom Stoppard "Coast of Utopia" marathon of three plays in a single day a few years ago.

You were awesome, intense and spent about an hour and a half yelling. I believe you were just in two of the three plays, but it must have been an intense and exciting experience. What was it like to do a Marathon of plays (with such heavy dialogue?)

iamethanhawke413 karma

Well, I wish you remembered that I was in all 3 plays, it makes me somehow feel that I did a poor job in one of them... As I mentioned before, it was definitely the highlight of a 20 year acting career, and the fact that you were there fills me with admiration for YOU because hard as it was to perform them all day, I can't imagine having the power of concentration to WATCH them all day. It was the one time in my life I came out for a curtain call when I wanted to applaud the audience.

PlaysForDays167 karma

Love the username. Looks like a butchered "I meth a hawk"

iamethanhawke402 karma

Well, my name is Ethan Hawke and I'm not a meth head. But the username "ethanhawke" was taken.

movieman626143 karma

Mr. Hawke, you are one of my favorite actors and I was wondering...

What has been your favorite acting experience so far?

I live in Denver, and have loved sharing the Before films with people in my life. When will we get a chance to see Before Midnight here?

iamethanhawke279 karma

Well, thank you, and I think one of my favorite acting experiences is something unfortunately in Denver you woudnt have been able to see, but I did a new Sir Tom Stoppard play called THE COAST OF UTOPIA - that we only performed in its entirety a handful of times as it's 12 hours long (with several intermissions). We would start performances at 11 AM, and we would do our curtain call at 11 PM. There was a lunch break and a dinner break, obviously, but it was about the mid-19th century Russian radicals; you could read it, but Stoppard is one of the few no-nonsense geniuses I've met in my life, and it was a pleasure to be in the rehearsal room for 9 months. If you read it, I played Mikhail Bakunin and Billy Crudup played Belinsky.

tylersburden85 karma

What is it like to be physically immortal?

iamethanhawke345 karma

You know, that's the greatest myth of acting in movies, is this idea of immortality. In a way, I've found that my theatre performances age less than my film performances, because they only exist in people's memories. When someone comes up to me and says I saw you in HURLY BURLY, their face lights up, and I can see the performance is alive in their brain, right there, and it also means that one day we were in the same room together, we had a shared experience. They might say, it was Christmas night, it was snowing, it started 25 minutes late, and I'll say "I remember" and that evening is very much alive for the both of us. Whereas when I show EXPLORERS to my children, it's obvious to me that film is aging.

steffyaugogo7 karma

My friend saw you in nyc at a restaurant last week, you had a kid with you, and were pissed off and shouting at some dude with a dog. Why?

LewAlcindor31 karma

Its NYC...its how we say hi.

iamethanhawke45 karma

I have no recollection of yelling at anybody with a dog or without a dog. I agree with the other person that I was probably saying hi.