Ethan Hawke reveals his life fell apart after split with ex-wife Uma Thurman
Actor Ethan Hawke has revealed his breaking point after his split with ex-wife, Uma Thurman. In an interview with GQ, the 47-year-old exclaimed that his life had fallen apart following the separation as he had to do quite a number of commercial films in order to pay off his alimony. The couple, who separated in 2003, share a 16-year-old son Levon and the 20-year-old upcoming 'Stranger Things' star Maya.
During the interview, Hawke almost seemed to be resenting the idea of having to do so many commercial films. As he has always denied being a professional, he never wanted to do films in order to make money. However, circumstances have forced him to treat his passion as a job to pay his bills. He said, "I pay my alimony with my acting. I pay my kids' health insurance with my acting. I pay everybody's tuition with my acting. I'm helping various charities with my acting. I've become a professional, and I never wanted to be a professional. I kind of hate professionals. And so when I get left alone in a room for a second and I get to be creative again, I'm like, Okay, Ethan, you get to make a movie."
Usually known to be playing the kind of characters who are not very grounded but are rather non-conforming, the actor, who had won the audience's heart as Jesse in Richard Linklater's 'Before Trilogy', the actor noted that the film came to him at the point when his marriage was falling apart. "That was the height of my marriage falling apart, and getting to spend that summer with Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater, reconnecting with a part of myself that was more...what's the right word? Idealized. A cleaner self. That was a great summer. And it really helped me put myself back together."
But, such films as the 'Before trilogy', 'Dead Poet's Society', and 'Boyhood', did not really support him much financially. However, these were the films where Hawke has given some of his best performances. He explained that when an actor works his/her self-confidence can sometimes a crumpled shape. "And I saw the strange relationship to celebrity and self-confidence. And that if it's off, there's a real misshapenness in your self-esteem. Patti Smith feels good about her prizes because she earned them all doing her own work her own way. Linklater's not conflicted about winning a prize for Boyhood. That's his life's work. Fuckin' A!"
However, Hawke had to stick to the commercial films for the longest time since, in spite of making art for its own sake, it wasn't paying off commercially. "I'd had kind of a frustrating experience, because despite doing some work like Gattaca, Reality Bites, Before Sunrise—I'd done this kind of indie punk-rock version of Hamlet—so I was doing work that I liked, but nothing I was doing was making any kind of mark in a commercial environment. And to say I cared would be a vast overstatement because I really didn't care." He added, "I wanted to be connected to something that I felt was authentic. And I was doing that, but it wasn't working in a commercial way. And that was confusing."
He also spoke about his daughter, Maya Hawke, who is gearing up for her role in the Winona Ryder starer 'Stranger Things' season 3. While talking about his daughter working with the woman who was his onscreen romantic interest from 'Reality Bites', Hawke exclaimed that his daughter will be pretty well off in the business. "If you know my daughter, it becomes kind of awesome, because she's not some kind of doe-eyed victim in all this. She's a ferocious young person who's gonna try to carve her own path. And so for me, that's the energy that's motivating everything. But it deﬁnitely feels like an acid trip."