I love to talk all the time, except when I have something to sell. And then I feel like a whore. You're interviewing me because a studio has a giant movie they want to release, and they want the world to go see it. And you're not necessarily interested in me, but you want people to buy your magazine. So the actor is just serving as the tip of the spear. I might as well be standing on the street corner, juggling one of those cardboard arrow signs.It's a good article.
Actor, 43, New York City
By Mike Sager on December 17, 2013
PUBLISHED IN THE JANUARY 2014 ISSUE: The Meaning of LifeInterviewed by Mike Sager, October 29, 2013
The morning of this interview, his refrigerator fell through the kitchen floor. Still, he showed up early, wearing a nice sweater, and ready to talk.
When I was sixteen, I remember telling my high school sweetheart I was pretty sure I knew everything. There were some dates of wars and Latin terms I didn't know, but I felt I knew everything that was important. Now I'm forty-two and I'm pretty sure I don't know anything.
Everything about my life is different than I thought it would be. I don't remember what I thought it would be, but everything about being an adult is so much subtler, and grayer, and so mysterious, and so profound…and a lot more irritating than I ever imagined.
Being a parent dilutes your narcissism.
The father has a very particular role, which involves cutting the umbilical cord, not just as a literal thing but as a metaphor. The father is the guardian of that first step away from the real safety of the nest. Our job is to usher our children into the world.
Every perceived failure turns out to have a secret success, and every perceived success has some secret failing in it.
In Macbeth, it's fascinating to see the moment when the witches actually come to Macbeth—it's after the biggest triumph of his life. The play opens and he's won two battles and he's the hero of both. Everybody loves him more than ever. And that's the moment the witches come. That's what Shakespeare shows: You're not your most vulnerable when you're broke and destitute and hungry. I mean, it's a tough moment, sure. But it's even tougher when the world gives you everything you want. That's when you're really in danger of becoming a prick.
I love to talk all the time, except when I have something to sell. And then I feel like a whore. You're interviewing me because a studio has a giant movie they want to release, and they want the world to go see it. And you're not necessarily interested in me, but you want people to buy your magazine. So the actor is just serving as the tip of the spear. I might as well be standing on the street corner, juggling one of those cardboard arrow signs.
I remember saying to my son, "Who's the best father you ever saw?" And he said, "Dad, you just want me to say you. I don't know any other fathers."
One of the great advantages of not going to college is you're not taught a right and a wrong way to do things. So many young people have stopped freethinking for themselves. I never went to acting school; I learned from Peter Weir, Sidney Lumet, Denzel Washington. I kind of see myself as a perpetual student.
What we communicate—our magazines, movies, books, plays, and all that—are our collective consciousness.
My grandfather was a general manager of the Abilene Blue Sox of Abilene, Texas. He was also the head sportswriter for The Abilene Reporter-News. He would cover his own games, which I thought was kind of fascinating.
I can't imagine that there's a person in this world who doesn't have something better to do than tell people that they can't love each other forever, no matter what their sex.
What I've learned about divorce? Not to speak about it publicly. Hopefully that will make somebody laugh.
Flip through the channels sometime and count how many times you see a woman taking her top off under duress, like being attacked physically, or how many times you see a woman dead, a body or a cadaver. Now flip through and notice how many times we see a man taking his clothes off, a man dead, a man being physically attacked. It's like nine to one.
I'm always dubious about talking politics; I don't have anything to say about that. To some degree, I think performers should stick to performing, you know what I mean?
A long time ago, I had to give up on the dream of being a professional athlete. Now I have to give up the dream of even playing a professional athlete. But here's the perfect metaphor for aging: I'm starting to look for coach roles.
Daughters are easier because I don't project myself onto them. Like, if my daughter doesn't like the Yankees, I'm not offended. But if my son says he likes the Orioles, I'm like, "What is wrong with you?"
Following this year's Before Midnight, the third film of a trilogy by director Richard Linklater, Hawke is now appearing in Macbeth at Lincoln Center in New York.