What a year Ethan Hawke has had so far. The actor already starred in two films this year, Robert Eggers’ “The Northman” and Scott Derrickson‘s “The Black Phone.” Then “The Last Movie Stars,” his documentary series on Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward premiered earlier this month. Hawke also has a role in the ensemble cast of Rian Johnson‘s much-anticipated “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” out later this year.
But Hawke’s biggest role this year might be in “Moon Knight,” where he plays cult leader Arthur Harrow. It’s Hawke’s first role in a Marvel project, and in a recent interview with Insider, he divulged that he nearly didn’t do the Disney+ series until his youngest son, Indiana, asked him a convincing question. “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,” Hawke told Insider. “And my youngest, Indiana, who was 10 at the time, said, ‘Well, Dad, what would Paul do?’”
In this case, Paul refers to Paul Newman, the topic of Hawke’s latest doc, who notoriously loathed the blockbuster concept. “Do I think he admired blockbusters and superhero movies? No, I don’t,” Hawke said. “He hated doing “Towering Inferno.” That was his idea of a giant sellout. You see him in physical pain in that movie.” Still, Hawke believes if Newman were still alive, he would have eventually acclimated to Hollywood’s currently Marvel-ridden landscape, even if it were for purely financial reasons. “It’s still a job,” Hawke said. “You still have to put food on the table.”
Hawke’s comments resemble ones he made last month in an interview with IndieWire, where he mentioned that although Newman detested “The Towering Inferno” in 1974, the actor did acknowledge it allowed him the flexibility to make the films he wanted to do later on. “We can make fun of “Towering Inferno” now, but that was the biggest movie of the year,” Hawke told Indiewire. “He got 10 years of creative freedom because of that movie. He was smart to do it, even if it isn’t a movie that’s worth talking about in the legacy of his work.”
Obviously, Hawke feels similarly about his time in the MCU. “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.” And “Moon Knight,” while not quite as loopy and deranged as the comics it’s based on, is one of the better MCU shows on Disney+, in no small part to Hawke’s performance.
Catch “The Last Movie Stars,” streaming on HBO Max now. Read our review of the series here.