In a just-posted GQ interview written by Zack Baron, Ethan Hawke declares that “a middle-class lifestyle was always enough for me.” He means that he doesn’t need to swagger around like Johnny Depp or Robert De Niro or anyone in the superstar bucks-up realm. “Like, I needed to pay my doctors’ bills and I needed to get my kids to school, but I don’t need three pairs of shoes,” Hawke says. “One pair of shoes is fine. And I don’t need more bedrooms. I don’t need bedrooms for fantasy houseguests, you know, that don’t arrive.”
I relate to Hawke’s proclamation of modest living standards. I grew up comfortably in suburban New Jersey and exurban Connecticut, but I’ve lived on the lean and mean side for decades. I was a Venice home-owner for three years, but otherwise a renter. No muscle car, no lavish wardrobe, no electronic toys, no McMansion, no clubbing, hardly any eating out and zero pricey vacations. Travelling around to film festivals (Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, Sundance) and alighting every so often to Rome, Paris, Munich, Prague and Hanoi has been my biggest luxury.
Does anyone believe that Hawke only owns one pair of shoozie-woozies? I don’t. I think he’s speaking metaphorically. I’m betting he’s got at least eight or ten pairs if not more. Plus a cool metal shoe rack. I own about 15 pairs including workout and hiking shoes (plus one pair of canary yellow tennis shoes that I never wear), and I don’t think I’m even close to being a male Imelda Marcos.
Why is Hawke talking to GQ? Because Blaze, which he directed, pops in early September. And because Paul Schrader‘s First Reformed, which contains Hawke’s greatest acting triumph in years, is streeting and streaming, and he obviously wants to be in the forthcoming Best Actor conversation. Hawke deserves to be nominated. It’ll almost certainly happen. But you have to remind people, and you never know these days about the New Academy Kidz.