Belfast Telegraph

Ethan Hawke ‘mocked’ Independence Day script because he was ‘arrogant’

The Reality Bites actor spoke about having turned down the box office blockbuster.

Ethan Hawke said he has “blown it so many times” in his career by letting good film roles pass him by.

The actor, 47, revealed he read the script for 1996 science fiction blockbuster Independence Day, which starred Will Smith, but said he “mocked it because I was arrogant and thought it terrible”.

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(left to right) Toni Collette, Ethan Hawke and Aidan Turner during the filming of the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)

He told The Graham Norton Show: “When the movie came out I went to see it with my girlfriend expecting it to be awful and it was a massive hit. After the movie she said, ‘You’re an idiot.’ I have blown it so many times!”

Hawke reminisced about working with the late Robin Williams on Dead Poet’s Society nearly 30 years ago.

He told Norton: “That film was ‘make or break’ for me. I told my sister that if I didn’t get the role then I would join the marines or something.

“Robin was incredibly funny, relaxed and inventive and improvised constantly. The more the crew laughed the more he performed.

“But I really wanted to be a serious actor and had read Stanislavski. I wanted to be in character so didn’t laugh at him.

“The funnier he was, the more steam came out of my ears. He really teased me about it and I thought he hated me.

“After the movie came out I got a call from Robin’s agent asking to represent me as Robin had told him I was going to be someone one day. He was a lovely gentle man.”

Hawke was promoting his latest film First Reformed, which is due for release in UK in mid-July.

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