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  • Emily Hawes

Ethan Hawke: Celebrating a Versatile Acting Career and a Birthday

Talented actor Ethan Hawke celebrated his birthday yesterday, and what better way to honour the occasion than by revisiting some of his best movies and performances? Hawke, whose career spans almost four decades, has showcased his exceptional acting skills in a wide array of roles and movies, leaving a lasting impression on audiences worldwide. Here are some of his most remarkable performances, featuring a movie that was shot in our very own Hangar!


Ethan Hawke's Memorable Performances

  • Explorers (1985): Hawke's film debut, starring in Joe Dante's sci-fi fantasy alongside River Phoenix and Jason Presson, featured a trio of kids who dreamt of building a spacecraft to venture into space. This impressive performance launched successful film careers for both Hawke and Phoenix.



  • Before Sunrise (1995): Hawke played Jesse, a young American who meets a French woman, Celine (Julie Delpy), on a train in Vienna. The film, directed by Richard Linklater, has an intimate dialogue driven narrative that is intertwined with moments of improv giving it a remarkably natural and meaningful essence. Additionally, Hawke received an Academy Award Nomination for co-writing Before Sunrise, the first in the movie trilogy.



  • Training Day (2001): In this crime thriller, Hawke delivered a riveting performance as Jake Hoyt, a rookie cop paired with the corrupt and menacing Detective Alonzo Harris, portrayed by Denzel Washington. This film earned Hawke an Academy Award nomination.



  • Boyhood (2014): Richard Linklater's ambitious project took 12 years to film, capturing the growth of a young boy, Mason. Hawke played the role of Mason's father, Mason Sr., and his portrayal over the years demonstrated a level of depth and authenticity rarely seen in cinema.



  • Born To Be Blue (2015): A film with significant ties to us here at Black Hangar Studios, Born To Be Blue saw Hawke take on the role of legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. Hawke's nuanced performance, combined with Black Hangar’s versatile spaces and post-production companies BlackLab and BlackVFX, added a unique dimension to the inspiring film.



  • First Reformed (2017): Hawke played the role of Reverend Toller in this powerful drama. His portrayal of a troubled clergyman struggling with existential questions and environmental concerns earned him critical acclaim.




We can’t celebrate Ethan Hawke’s amazing career without taking a look at his upcoming film Leave The World Behind. He takes on the role of Clay, a fascinating father character, on a family vacation interrupted by the arrival of two strangers bearing news of an imminent blackout. The film, set to grace our cinema screens in 2023, will undoubtably be another testament to his remarkable acting abilities.


Ethan Hawke's career serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling in cinema. This week, he is not only celebrating his birthday but also receiving The Stockholm Achievement Award, a lifetime honour that recognises outstanding contributions to cinema. Happy belated birthday, Ethan Hawke, and here's to many more captivating performances and cinematic milestones!

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