‘You still have to put food on the table’


Ethan Hawke in a purple suit in front of a black background

Ethan Hawke at the premiere “Moon Knight” in 2022.Leon Bennett/Stringer/Shutterstock

  • Ethan Hawke told Insider he questioned what Paul Newman would do when offered “Moon Knight.”

  • Hawke was directing a documentary on the legendary actor at the time.

  • “You still have to put food on the table,” Hawke concluded.

Ethan Hawke recalled what led to him taking on the villain role of Arthur Harrow in “Moon Knight.

And it consisted of a family chat at the dinner table about Paul Newman.

The veteran actor was in the midst of putting the final touches on “The Last Movie Stars,” a six-part documentary he directed about the lives and careers of Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward, when he got a call about starring on the Disney+ show.

“I remember I was sitting at my dinner table and I had just been offered ‘Moon Knight’ and I was trying to decide whether to do that or not and my youngest, Indiana, who was 10 at the time, said, ‘Well, Dad, what would Paul do?'” Hawke told Insider over a Zoom chat on Monday.

It was a reasonable question. Hawke said his daughter had overheard him and his wife, Ryan Shawhughes, who is a producer on the documentary, speak about Newman constantly for months while making the HBO Max docuseries.

“And the whole table, Maya and Levon were there,” Hawke said, referring to his oldest children whom he shares with ex-wife Uma Thurman, “We all had this talk: Well, what would he do?”

Faye Dunaway holding Paul Newman's arm

Faye Dunaway and Paul Newman in “The Towering Inferno.”Fox

Newman’s legendary Oscar-winning career spanned decades and included roles in some of the greatest movies ever made, like “The Hustler,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and “Cool Hand Luke.”

Later in his career, Newman also found himself in a big blockbuster or two, most notably “The Towering Inferno.”

“Do I think he admired blockbusters and superhero movies? No, I don’t,” Hawke said of Newman. “He hated doing ‘Towering Inferno.’ That was his idea of a giant sellout. You see him in physical pain in that movie.”

“But, it’s still a job,” Hawke added. “You still have to put food on the table.”

“I am an actor,” he continued. “That is how I pay my kids’ medical bills, that’s how I put a roof over our heads. And my job is not to change the world and make it the perfect place. My job is to do good work to the best of my ability. So we all decided, ‘I think you should do it.’ And I’m glad I did.”

The decision paid off as Hawke’s performance as the cult leader Harrow opposite Oscar Isaac in the title role led to high acclaim.

And though Newman, who died in 2008, was never a fan of “The Towering Inferno,” it did garner a best picture Oscar nomination and was the highest-grossing movie of 1974.

“The Last Movie Stars” premieres Thursday on HBO Max.

Read the original article on Insider


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