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Isn’t Everything Autobiographical?: Ethan Hawke In Nine Films And A Novel

By Yasmina Tawil

By Marya Gates

When asked during his first ever on-camera interview if he’d like to continue acting, a young Ethan Hawke replied, “I don’t know if it’s going to be there, but I’d like to do it.” He then gives a guileless shrug of relief as the interview ends, wiping imaginary sweat off his brow. The simultaneous fusion of his nervous energy and poised body language will be familiar to those who’ve seen later interviews with the actor. The practicality and wisdom he exudes at such a young age would prove to be a through-line of his nearly 40-year career. In an interview many decades later, he told Ideas Tap that many children get into acting because they’re seeking attention, but those who find their calling in the craft discover that a “desire to communicate and to share and to be a part of something bigger than yourself takes over, a certain craftsmanship—and that will bring you a lot of pleasure.”


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