Belfast Telegraph

Ethan Hawke: I feel sorry for JLaw

Ethan Hawke has spoken out on the problem with stars getting success too early.

The 44-year-old actor has made no secret of his worries about Hollywood over the years and is now voicing his concerns about how quickly some stars rise to the top. Jennifer was recently named Forbes most bankable star of 2014 thanks to her roles in the X-Men and Hunger Games flicks, but she’s a critical success too. The 24-year-old star already has an Oscar under her belt for Silver Linings Playbook and has been nominated on two other occasions.

“I feel sorry for a young actress like Jennifer Lawrence who gets so much success out of the gate, because how are you supposed to develop an appropriate work ethic? How do you push yourself to be better when you get an Oscar for buying breakfast in the morning?” Ethan asked The Daily Beast “It’s the kind of thing one wants to really work for. Tennessee Williams wrote this great essay called The Catastrophe of Success about how failure and success can both be miserable experiences, but failure can at least be fuel to inspire you to be better, while success can just drown you.”

It’s not just young stars Ethan worries about, it’s the way Hollywood runs as a whole. He believes it’s the culture which decides when something is good, pointing to awards ceremonies as an obvious example. That said, there is an upside to that too – sometimes actors surprise Ethan with what they achieve.

“I’ve been a long time Woody Harrelson fan, and it’s been amazing for me to watch him turn into Gene Hackman. He’s turning into one of those ferocious older guys. I would have never predicted when I saw Cheers that Woody Harrelson was going to be one of the great actors of this generation,” he said

“One example would be how fascinating it must be to be Martin Scorsese and have an Oscar at home for The Departed… [and] they f**ked him for Goodfellas. And look at last year. A lot of people made a big deal over American Hustle, and that is a very good imitation Scorsese movie, but we had an actual Scorsese movie that came out that same year! The Wolf of Wall Street is a dangerous, incendiary work of art.”

Ethan called the late Philip Seymour Hoffman his favourite actor of his generation, although he believed the star sometimes focused “too much on the blackness”. He added Sean Penn runs much the same gauntlet, although he respects him because he has “balls for days”.

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