On Tuesday, March 12, Ethan Hawke sat down with Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn during the SXSW Conference to discuss Hawke’s diverse career as a novelist, actor, director, and screenwriter, which spans more than three decades.
“I had always imagined that I was going to be a writer, and I felt like acting was a way to get started.” – Ethan Hawke
Hawke and filmmaker Richard Linklater are close friends and have collaborated on a number of different projects. Due to their encompassing relationship, Kohn asked Hawke about their history and how they began to work with each other. “I was just another 22 year old who loved Slacker,” said Hawke.
After seeing a screening of Dazed and Confused, Hawke met Linklater and the pair got along extremely well. “He [Linklater] was telling me this story about a guy meeting a girl on a train and it was going to be called Before Sunrise…I thought for sure he was offering me the movie, the way he was talking,” said Hawke. Linklater sent Hawke the script to his house and he thought his fate was sealed, but later found out it was just an invitation to audition. Hawke decided he was going to go for the part and get the role no matter what. After doing a screen test, other hoop jumping, and pointing out a rather lengthly monologue, which Hawke deemed useless in the script, he landed the role.
In addition to being a Featured Speaker, Hawke brought two films to this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Blaze – about musician Blaze Foley which he wrote and directed – and Paul Schrader‘s environmental thriller First Reformed. “It [First Reformed] is so beautifully written…we made it in the wake of the last inauguration and myself and everyone in the crew felt so happy to be working on something that we could put all this anger and confusion, and all these questions about what is a country that largely calls itself Christian or thinks of itself as a force of moral good, how can we let ourselves down so badly most of the time. It asks a lot of questions that are so important to me,” said Hawke.
First Reformed will be released via A24 on May 24, 2018. Watch the video above for the full Conversation with Ethan Hawke. Browse more 2018 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.
Ethan Hawke Photo by Travis Ball/Getty Images