Ethan Hawke on his relationship with Richard Linklater, upcoming directorial Blaze and dealing with success

FP Staff

August 16, 2018 18:43:28 IST

It has been close to 30 years since a young Ethan Hawke stepped on his desk to salute his teacher, portrayed by Robin Williams, in Dead Poets Society; close to 25 years since he played a bright slacker who shared a grunge ethos with the bands like Nirvana, and went from one low-end job to another in 1994 film Reality Bites.

He has meanwhile turned director, novelist and earned four Academy Award nominations for his work and will soon be seen in Juliet, Naked opposite Rose Byrne. He, however, understands the dark side of success and fame.

Ethan Hawke. Image via Twitter

Ethan Hawke. Image via Twitter

“Success can be like formaldehyde,” he says in an interview with Variety. “It wants to freeze-dry you and have you stay the same. When it happens to you when you’re young, it can be really damaging. When I see someone like Britney Spears shaving her head or Elvis or Michael Jackson becoming grotesque versions of themselves as they age, I know exactly what’s going on. I understand it.”

He also says he wasn't ready for fame in his early 20s after the sucess of Reality Bites, noting he didn't know how to react to the fact that some either hated or loved his character and him.

Talking about his close relationship with director Richard Linklater, with whom he has worked from Before Sunrise (1995) to Boyhood (2014), he says: “It just sort of percolated up that we’re in it for the long haul. I knew that we were going to be artistic collaborators for life.”

Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne in Juliet, Naked. Image via Twitter

Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne in Juliet, Naked. Image via Twitter

The subject of his upcoming directorial Blaze is the country musician, Blaze Foley. He says he didn't choose a more famous person for his biopic because Blaze's life wasn't the story of a genius but that of a hard-worker whose work is usually met with complete indifference.

Other than Juliet, Naked and Blake, Hawke will also be seen in Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda's La Verite alongside Juliette Binoche. Binoche and Hawke will portray a married couple who return to France from the US when the wife's mother (Catherine Deneuve), a well-known actress, publishes her autobiography. During their reunion, various truths are revealed.

(With inputs from agencies)

Updated Date: Aug 16, 2018 18:43 PM