An American actor, director, and novelist, Ethan Green Hawke is best known for starring in critically and commercially acclaimed films like Training Day
, Hamlet and Boyhood.
In addition to his acting work, he has directed a few feature films and Off-Broadway plays. A novelist in his own right, Hawke wrote books like the Hottest State (1996), Ash Wednesday (2002) and the epistolary fable Rules for a Knight (2015). He also penned the screenplay of romantic movies like Before Sunset and Before Midnight
for which he received an Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.Early Life
Born in Austin, Texas, to James Hawke, an insurance actuary and Leslie, a social activist, Hawke's parents separated when he was very young and he was then raised by his mother. The two moved around a lot before finally settling in New Jersey in 1981 when his mother remarried.
There, he first attended West Windsor-Plainsboro High School and then Hun School of Princeton. It was while he was in high school that he started taking interest in becoming a writer and actor. In 1988, he also registered at Carnegie Mellon University to study acting but dropped out after five months to take a minor role in Dead Poets Society
(1989). Post this, Hawke made his off-Broadway debut in a New York Shakespeare Festival production, Casanova, in 1991. Personal Life
Hawke married actress Uma Thurman, in 1998, but the couple later divorced in 2005, owing to charges against Hawke for infidelity. The couple has two children, daughter Maya and son Roan. In 2008, he married Ryan Shawhuges, who was a nanny to his children and with whom he was accused of having an affair while still with Uma. Denying the allegation, Hawke said “my [first] marriage disintegrated due to many pressures, none of which were remotely connected to Ryan.” The couple has two daughters, Clementine Jane and Indiana.
Ethan Hawke's stage appearance at the age of 13 led to him auditioning for Joe Dante's quirky sci-fi comedy, Explorers. Both Ethan and River Phoenix made their film debuts in this movie and Ethan won the Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film. He then went back to his studies before landing the role as an emotional prep school student in Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society, starring Robbie Williams in the lead role. During his early days in the film industry, he starred in movies like Dad, White Fang, Mystery Date, Waterland, and the World War II drama film A Midnight Clear. Along with his movie career, his theater vocation also took off to a great start. After his Off-Broadway debut with Casanova in 1991, Hawke established a non-profit drama company Malaparte, with his friends. He featured in several plays produced by his company and in 1993, wrote and directed a short movie called Straight to One, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 1994, Hawke starred in the romantic drama film Reality Bites alongside Winona Ryder. The movie which follows the story of young college students, figuring out what they want to do with life was not very well received at the box office. It apparently lacked mass appeal and was declared a Generation- X movie, establishing Hawke as an international heartthrob, nevertheless. Sticking to the romantic movie genre, Hawke's next film was the highly praised film, Before Sunrise,
starring Julie Delpy
opposite him. Directed by Richard Linklater
, the romantic drama is about two strangers who meet on a train and how during the course of just one night, form a lifelong connection. With an uncommon 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movies was a runaway hit and was declared as one of the most romantic modern films by various newspapers and magazines.
Post this, Hawke took a break from the film industry for two years, during which he wrote his first book, entitled 'The Hottest State' (1996). The novel was heavily criticized by the critics but this did not stop him from publishing his second one, Ash Wednesday, which was published in 2002.
A revived Hawke made his first appearance, after his hiatus in 1997, in the movie Gattaca, in which he undertakes another man's identity to penetrate a guild of genetically perfect human beings. Co-starring Uma Thurman and Jude Law
, this sci-fi thriller was declared a box office success and was also responsible for giving the wind to Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's romance.
He then starred in movies like The Great Expectation, Joe The King, Snow Falling on Cedars, Hamlet, and Waking Life. In 2001, Hawke, along with Denzel Washington
starred in the crime thriller Training Day. For essaying the role of a rookie cop, Officer Jake Hoyt, Hawke received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2004, he starred in Before Sunrise's sequel, before Sunset, which picked up the story nine years post the events of the first film and also featured in the 2013 sequel, Before Midnight, which followed the original story eighteen years on. He also co-wrote the screenplay of both the sequels, along with his co-star Julie Delpy and earned an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay for both the films.
In the subsequent year, in 2014, Hawke in a coming-of-age drama film Boyhood. Directed by Richard Linklater, the movie following the journey of a young boy from age 6 to 18, was shot over the period of 12 years. For portraying the role of protagonist's father, Hawke received his first BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and another Academy Award nomination in the aforementioned category. The movie became the best-reviewed film of 2014, with Metacritic giving it a score of 100 out of 100, based on several reviews. Post this super successful stint as an actor, he starred in a sci-fi thriller Predestination
, romantic comedy drama Maggie's Plan, and biopic Born To Be Blue.
His 2016 projects include movies like In a Valley of Violence , The Phenom, and The Magnificent Seven
. Directed by Antonie Fuqua, The Magnificent Seven is an American action film starring Denzel Washington, Chris Prat
t, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio
, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier
, Haley Bennett
and Peter Sarsgaard.