Ethan Hawke: “Nothing Went The Way I Thought It Would.”

In a soul-searching interview with The Guardian, the 40-something actor could well be speaking for the rest of his generation.

Hawke stars in the upcoming “The Woman in the Fifth,” in which he plays an American writer in Paris, who’s newly divorced and seeking custody of his daughter. He’s drawn into relationship with a mysterious woman played by Kristin Scott Thomas. The movie is directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, and could be, as the story notes, “a napkin sketch” of the actor in midlife.

In many ways it is,” he tells the newspaper. “That jacket he wears – I had this blazer that’s a little too small, like it’s left over from prep school. The costume designer and I saw it as an extension of the character from Dead Poets Society: you know, his eyes have gone bad, he used to be quite promising but promising doesn’t cut it at 40. He’s turning in on himself. Pawel had this idea that depression is someone who can’t see outside of themselves.”

Elsewhere, he notes:

“This is the biggest struggle of my life, to be honest,” he says. “I never know to what extent I have to feed the snake, you know. The times in my life I’ve tried to sell out have failed miserably. I did this Angelina Jolie horror film thinking it would be a big hit and it was terrible. When I’ve followed my heart it goes well. One of the most successful movies I did was Before Sunset: we made that film for the sole reason that we wanted to make that film. The trick is to shoot from your heart, and then when the kind of work that you like is back in fashion again, you’ll seem like you’ve stood your ground.”

Read the full story here.

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