Ethan Hawke Ditched A-List, Found Artsy Cred

Star dishes on avoiding the fame 'trap' and doing what he always wanted to
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2010 1:49 PM CST
Ethan Hawke on stage in "The Cherry Orchard" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last year.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Standing on the verge of Hollywood superstardom in the mid-'90s, Ethan Hawke blinked. Rather then sign on as the superhero flavor of the month, he turned instead to pal Richard Linklater's small indie flick Before Sunrise. The result has been a career trajectory not so much Hollywood glam as Big Apple cool—Hawke still does his movies, but he's a published author with a penchant for doing Shakespeare and directing off-Broadway plays (currently Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind) with his old cadre of friends. New York magazine stops in for a lengthy profile.

For famous young actors, the world looks like it’s “rooting for them,” but instead “it’s setting a huge trap.” Hawke is clearly relieved to have escaped. “Because the casualty rate at the Venice Film Festival for 18-year-olds? High.” Though there is still some hand-wringing about his stardom. “If that goes away, does the whole thing get shut down?”

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