Ethan Hawke quotes:

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  • I remember being a kid and sleeping over at my friend's house and staying up late and watching 'Nosferatu.' Vampire movies are supposed to be secret and bad. They should be rated R.

  • The more kind of head trippy sci-fi. I always like that. I was a big 'Twilight Zone' freak.

  • The biggest problem in my life is trying to be the kind of man that I want to be, the father that I want to be, and how to process the failure of my marriage.

  • When you do 'Before Sunset,' you know while it's a limited audience, there was a very small group of people that love 'Before Sunrise.' You feel a certain pressure to make sure that you uphold a level of quality that has been a bar. You set a bar and you have to at least match it.

  • The experience on that movie ( Dead Poets Society ) was, for lack of a better term, life-altering. Peter Weir has a unique talent for making movies that are intelligent but also mainstream. I've never been terribly successful at doing that.

  • It's difficult to do a genre film well, and it doesn't matter if you're talking vampire movies or 'Dawn of the Dead' or 'The Thing' or 'Escape From New York.' Those kind of movies, they understand what the old-school B-movie is supposed to be, they get the throwback of it.

  • Right now, if you're interested in being a dramatic actor, they're not making that many just regular dramas. Movies have to have some other thing going on.

  • I never thought that I would be labeled something like Generation X because of that movie ( Reality Bites ). I had no idea going into it, and it wasn't a label I could relate to.

  • I was being taken around by a press agent at the Venice Film Festival at age 18. Was it fun? Sure. But it was a dangerous path to be walking on as far as having a substantive life. Because the casualty rate at the Venice Film Festival for 18-year-olds? High.

  • I can't tell you how many times in the '90s I'd meet somebody, we'd be having a nice time, and they'd sigh and go, 'This is exactly like Before Sunrise.' And I'd have to get up and leave.

  • I auditioned for Robert Redford once and I was so starstruck I couldn't even speak. I had a mic wire at a screen test clipped to me and then I got kind of nervous and I paced in a circle and then took a step and tripped and fell on my face. You just have to forgive yourself and keep going on.

  • Depression is a real demon in the woods for a lot of creative people, you know? It's part of what the documentary is trying to be about for me, finding balance, where the beauty that is attainable in the creative arts can be matched with the scratchy roughness of regular life.

  • It was never in my dreams to make my personal life anybody else's business.

  • There's something about knowing life is finite that makes it so precious.

  • My relationship to reality has been so utterly skewed for so long that I don't even notice it any more. It's just my reality.

  • The older I get, the more I realize how rare it is to meet a kindred spirit.

  • When you start becoming really successful, the demons start to tempt you - the demons of vanity and self importance, drug abuse, the feelings of fraudulence. But, it's also a thrill. That's what I found weird.

  • I kill flies, I eat meat, you know, whatever.

  • The thing that makes a great genre movie is one that's not just entertainment, not just horror or sci-fi or whatever. The ones I love are the genre pictures with some subversive message underlying it all.

  • One of the things that separates a good genre movie from a bad genre movie, I always think, ironically, is when you care about the people. The dime a dozen ones are where you don't have any awareness of the character.

  • I feel like everyone I meet is an imaginary friend. I don't know. The older I get the more I wonder what's real.

  • I think having nature be a part of people's lives helps all of us see ourselves as part of something larger.

  • I met a lot of famous people when I was about 24. And none of them seemed very appealing. And so I didn't know why I would struggle to be that kind of person.

  • I've had different opportunities in my life, but I've tried to maintain the spirit of an amateur. Our culture roots everything in the barometer of success and how much money you make. But if you really just aspire to a life in the arts, it's really not a barometer at all.

  • At every turn, when humanity is asked the question, 'Do you want temporary economic gain or long-term environmental loss, which one do you prefer,' we invariably choose the money.

  • I think that if you walk through this life and I end up being a bad father, then it won't matter anything else I achieved in my life. It will all be irrelevant.

  • A lot of American actors when they do Shakespeare put on a phoney English accent and it drives me crazy. You're always fighting against the idea that only the British know how to do Shakespeare.

  • One of the things I can do is to try to put myself in different kinds of movies and that kind of subtly changes my work. By the time my obituary is written, I want there to be a great western and a great comedy.

  • To get to be somebody who gets to love what they do for a living, that's so rare, and so there must be some kind of price you have to pay.

  • When I woke up I was naked. I have this one oddball idiosyncrasy: Sometimes in my sleep I take off all my clothes.

  • My goal is to tell good stories. And to try as best I can to do something new with acting. To learn from the past and to be a relevant artist. To make stories that are interesting and contemporary and to tell some kind of emotional truth.

  • I think that as soon as you think of yourself as a famous person or anything like that, you're objectifying yourself in some weird way.

  • Its difficult to do a genre film well, and it doesnt matter if youre talking vampire movies or Dawn of the Dead or The Thing or Escape From New York. Those kind of movies, they understand what the old-school B-movie is supposed to be, they get the throwback of it.

  • We all have this fantasy of finding our one true love who's going to be the perfect fit. It's just not a reality.

  • The theater, for me, has always been a place where I'm free to be more creative, a place to sharpen my tools.

  • I'm horrified to admit that I just love Salinger. I was devastated to find out that other people feel the same way.

  • I did one sci-fi movie. I did 'Gattaca.' I liked 'Gattaca' because that was always the kind of science fiction I really dug, the non-action oriented sci-fi.

  • If you say to yourself, okay, I will not self-destruct. I don't have to be the most talented person. I don't have to be everybody's best friend, I don't have to be liked, I don't have to be successful, well, one thing I will not do is self-destruct. If you take that out, your chances for success just went up like 800 percent.

  • There's some kind of actors that can radically change who they are from movie to movie. I've never really been that kind of actor. I enjoy changing the worlds that I'm in.

  • I've always been interested in directing. I started acting when I was thirteen years old, so I've had some desire to do something else in my life.

  • The thing that really breeds career longevity in this profession is doing good work. You can make $20 million a movie, but does that mean you'll still have a job when you're 60? It's a profession that eats people up and wants constant turnaround, so you have to dedicate yourself to learning and making the most of whatever gift you may have.

  • You don't need other people to affirm that you're a valuable person.

  • The Woodstock Film festival is among the finest of a dying breed: a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking.

  • In New York, you've got Donald Trump, Woody Allen, a crack addict and a regular Joe, and they're all on the same subway car.

  • If you're not a real chameleon of an actor and if you're not one of those guys who can really shape-change themselves all the time, one of the ways to keep pushing yourself and keep changing is to be in different kinds of movies.

  • Everyone has to pay their child support, and no matter if you're a Hollywood actor or anyone else, it's always a little bit more than you want to pay.

  • I always felt that a marriage works best at a farm... where you're together and everybody has clear-cut roles; they have chores, 'you take care of this' and you know. But it's hard.

  • Some people burn out, and some people like Clint Eastwood, he was a wild, international movie star in his 30s, and he's doing the best work of his life now. Go figure.

  • If you can understand the inner life, then you can wear the uniform, the tattoos, or whatnot and realize that the things that are different about us become superficial.

  • As a young man... you don't know anything about yourself. And add on to that, you're on the cover of magazines. People are interviewing you about what you think. You feel like a real phony.

  • Nothing teaches you like getting leveled. And I got leveled in my early 30s. Nothing went exactly the way I thought it would.

  • I've had a lot of experience in independent film, and about how to choose. You've got to be very discerning about where you put your five bucks, and where you cut and what you don't cut.

  • In all of our society, but especially in Hollywood, there is an obsession with perfection that can lead to self-loathing and neurosis and all that kind of stuff.

  • Time is what creates trust.

  • Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.

  • Success isn't measured by what you achieve, it's measured by the obstacles you overcome.

  • Emma Watson is my kids' favorite actor on the planet. They never took me more seriously than when I was working with her.

  • Read. It makes you more intelligent. It's that simple. We all see the universe through the tiny keyhole of our own eyes, and every book is another keyhole from which you can gaze.

  • There is no trick to writing a believable love story, a heartbreaking scene or real-sounding dialogue. All you need is to tell the truth. It's always heartbreaking.

  • It just makes sense to remember gratitude and the place that gratitude should have in your life, and that none of us are owed these wonderful experiences, and we should always make the best of them.

  • I have totally hitched my wagon to the horse of storytelling, and the idea that none of us know why we're born, or why we're gonna die, or what we're planted here, or what's on the other side of the galaxy, or when time began, or when time end. The whole nature of reality is pretty up for grabs, really.

  • Happiness is in the doing not in getting what you want.

  • My favorite stories are human, so I'm always looking for.

  • But the truth is, I've never wanted to be a movie star - and I've been pretty clear about that.

  • I take pleasure in the little things. Double cheeseburgers, those are good, the sky ten minutes before it rains,the moment your laugh turns into a cackle. And I sit here, and smoke my Camel straights, and I ride my own melt.

  • It was fantastic to be on the set again with Denzel (Washington) and Antoine (Fuqua) and then to have the situation be so different. We weren't making a sequel to Training Day. We were in the middle of the desert riding around on some horses.

  • I have a daughter and the thing I wish for her is not love, fame, money or anything like that. It's just one great best friend. You know, if you have somebody that has your back, you're gonna be all right.

  • If you can channel the best part of you that is bigger than yourself, where it's not about your ego and not about getting ahead, then you can have fun and you aren't jealous of others. You see other people's talent as another branch of your own. You can keep it rooted in joy. Life is long and there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. The point of it all is to learn.

  • Give your heart to everybody you meet. The rest is pretense.

  • The only thing I can point to of why I survived is I have a family that loves me and never wanted any money from me.

  • Directing is like putting together a collage.

  • I started acting when I was 13 years old and I feel like I really admire actors who are these kind of amazing shape-changing people, that they almost can turn themselves into other people.

  • If you don't risk doing something foolish, you'll never do anything special.

  • The truth is that the more you get paid, the less freedom you have. They never pay you for nothing.

  • I don't know what has happened to movies, but lately every movie is at least 20 minutes too long. It used to be that if you were three hours long it was because it was epic - a movie about Gandhi; something with very important subject matters.

  • I've always watched actors on the red carpet getting drunk and making idiots of themselves and now I'm happy to join their ranks

  • We're fascinated by things that scare us, and one of the things that scares us is violence. Violence exists. It's a real part of our lives. We are obsessed with what we're scared of, but it certainly doesn't define us.

  • Everything is so finite but that's what makes our time and specific moments so important.

  • I have had so many bad auditions.

  • I love really exploring... you know, a cop drama for example is a great way to explore class in this country and explore, you know, really, identity in the country and who we are in a way that is extremely exciting, but it's also real, you know, it's also real people and real drama. The same with the military. I mean, a good science fiction story is also great.

  • It is very difficult for any couple who are married if both people are ambitious. I don't know if it's just too hard to be married to a woman that wants to be a movie star.

  • I think it's my job to risk looking foolish. One of the things I've learned from the actors I've worked with is you don't get something for nothing. If you don't risk looking foolish, you'll never do anything special.

  • I like [that] there's a certain inherent drama to those jobs that is exciting to tell stories about and it's still real life. I'm a little less interested in the current fad of being obsessed with superheroes and things that are so out of the box.

  • 'Brooklyn's Finest,' this is the kind of movie that's why I want to be an actor, to tell real-life stories. This is where I feel my job is, to interpret life.

  • Right now the only people I can really fall in love with are people who don't really, truly want me around. Now why do I do that?

  • It's a really unique job that is a little schizophrenic and you have to kind of do it with a sense of humor.The trick is figuring out what each job is asking of you and what it's not asking of you.

  • I thought I was so much smarter than everybody. And I'm not.

  • I'd be lying if I said I had confidence in every choice I've made, that I have faith in every film I do on every shot.

  • Few years ago I did a movie, Good Kill, about drone pilots and for four or five months I'm obsessed with the Air Force.

  • With this sunrise somehow I felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be... Have faith, the light seemed to announce.

  • I'm magically delicious.

  • My job - and it's really true - is that it's constantly evolving and changing. When I was doing the Chet Baker movie I was obsessed with playing the trumpet, and to my absolute shock I haven't picked the trumpet up since we wrapped. It was so much work. I thought I was going to keep playing the rest of my life, 'cause it was fun, it's just a lot of work. And it's a really unique job that exposes you to a lot.

  • If I do three movies in a year, I don't feel like acting ever again.

  • In your mid-twenties, the paint is still wet on who you are.

  • My process differs... my process for a Richard Linklater film is very different than a process for Training Day.

  • The girls who like me aren't the ones I like. Or, if I do and they want to commit, I suddenly need tons of time with my friends.

  • The kindest compliments I have ever heard are when cops tell me Training Day and Assault on Precinct 13 inspired them to become cops. The funniest compliments I have ever heard are when people tell me that 'I love your band Sugar Ray.

  • Seeing the play ( A Lie of the Mind ) clearly is part of why I wanted to direct it. I see hope at the end of this play. People talk about how dark the play was, but I feel like, if you really look at the darkness, you're able to go through it, and you realize that you can handle dark moments in life and that everything will be all right.

  • One of the hardest things about my job is that there kind of is no one rulebook that applies to all situations.

  • All that stuff with the tabloids is a kind of luxury tax I pay for all the good things I do in my life.

  • Have this Chet Baker movie coming out and in that situation, I went down the rabbit hole studying Chet Baker and being obsessed with the period and the music and the relationships and the dynamic, and everything, drug addiction. There was so much I wanted to get at to kind of get at the truth. With Regression, I was certainly in Alejandro's [Amenabar] hands.

  • If you don't give inspiration an opportunity, it will never arrive.

  • When you make a movie with Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar, he very quickly... it was very clear you're kind of operating in his dream universe.

  • If you study the history of mankind, it seems to be a history of violence. Certainly the history of art, whether you look at paintings or movies or plays or whatever, is just a litany of murder and death.

  • I'd really rather that nobody had a gun, and then nobody would have to worry about it. That would be more my theory. In America, there's this knee-jerk response that more walls and more guns make people safer, and I'm entirely suspect of that way of thinking.

  • Good genre movies are a little bit like trying to write a haiku. There are certain things that you have to do to fulfill the audience's expectations, but inside that, you have complete freedom to talk about whatever you want. Who wants to see a movie about gun violence in America and class? But, if you set it in this terrifying, fun, roller coaster ride of a movie, you can talk about whatever you want. That's been the game that genre movies play, when they do it well.

  • Sometimes people, their creative drive comes from an energy to try to heal themselves.

  • Your development as a person should coincide with your development in all aspects of your life.

  • Sometimes people save the best part of themselves for their art.

  • I believe in the healing restorative power of art and communication. And so that's probably my rule. But that doesn't apply to bedtimes. And stuff like that.

  • It's so hard for every young person, trying to figure out the adult you want to be.

  • The constant buzz and pressure and noise and static of the Internet, and the way it makes young people feel makes it difficult to grow up and develop the way one might want to.

  • Time is so much a part of what makes you close to people.

  • The older I get, the more obvious it is that you're not really in control of your life, you're a part of a larger wave, no matter who you are.

  • It's difficult to make any kind of action movie that might be unique or worth watching.

  • The writing process was some of the most exciting and rewarding moments of my life. It felt a lot like being in a band.

  • The most creative and most periods of my life that were, had the most growth, were the ones where I was perceived to be failing. Perceived success is a, is really hard 'cause it doesn't really, it's not asking you to grow, see failure is asking you to grow.

  • Sometimes in the life of an actor you're not getting offered any jobs that speak to you. The trouble with acting is that you're only as good as your opportunities.

  • Whenever actors tout off about doing their own stunts, it's always ... they're so protective of you that I always know these stunt guys are so good [and] they're never going to put you in danger. But it's fun to do something kind of exciting, even something as simple as driving 70 through a tunnel with five motorcycles ... it sounds simple, but it's actually really nerve-wracking.

  • Nightmares are a strange thing. Your worst fear is sometimes something you enjoy thinking about, for some strange reason. I don't know why that is, but it's some kind of fantasy that people play out. "What would I do to protect my children? I'd do anything." And then, you watch it play out. I'm petrified of such a thing.

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