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Ethan Hawke speaks his heart out at HIIFF

CGTN | Updated: 2019-12-04

Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke was among the glitterati at the masterclass at the 2nd Hainan Island International Film Festival. This marks Ethan's debut at a Chinese film festival. 

CGTN's Shen Li sat down with the American actor to talk about the choices he made about films, his passion for music and stage, and much more.

The actor says the need to share feelings has had a prominent role in his choice of projects.

The actor is known for director Richard Linklater's Before trilogy and Boyhood. "[In the] Boyhood and the Before trilogy, the main character is time. ... Time is a very difficult thing to photograph. It's always moving and sometimes I think we are tricked into believing that our lives have a beginning, a middle, and an end, like a story that's very clearly told. ... In truth, life seems to happen more in circles. Whether it's a circulatory system or planets orbiting," he said.


Ethan Hawke attending masterclass event at 2nd HIIFF. /CGTN Photo

Apart from art movies, Hawke says he also enjoys making sci-fi films, with "Gattaca" and "Predestination" being his favorites. He said his favorite writer in this genre has always been Kurt Vonnegut. As to what the genre means to him, he said, "I like science fiction because very rarely do people want to challenge the way they are used to thinking, and science fiction does that in a fun way, whether it's Star Trek or whether its Twilight Zone. It challenges the way you think."

Apart from acting, Hawke also directs. Talking about his documentary "Seymour: An Introduction," he said one of the most beautiful things about the life of a pianist is that "you know that you can never be good enough, you can always keep growing, and want to keep learning..."

Hawke also said he had a passion for the stage because "there's less manipulation involved" and "you have a direct relationship with the audience."