Why Ethan Hawke Is Hot Again

That’s what Variety is saying, in an article that points out the evidence — Hawke’s movie, “The Purge,” was number one this weekend at the box office, and his “Before Midnight” is the current favorite of arthouse audiences — without really explaining the reasons. I’m not sure I’d say that the actor is “hot”: “The Purge” was marketed as a genre film not as an Ethan Hawke film. I would say that the actor, 42, is finally getting praise for molding a multi-faceted career of the kind that few of his contemporaries can match. When he burst on the scene, in his early 20s, there was criticism that he was too-cool-for-school, because he co-founded a theater company and dared to write novels that some felt only got published because their author had a name. In the intervening years, Hawke has shown himself to be what he’s always been: an artist. He is a tireless actor in the theater, he’s directed movies, and in general has shown himself to be a good citizen of the Manhattan kind. I guess the public has finally caught up to the fact that, unlike his “Great Expectations” costar, Gwyneth Paltrow (they were both so good in that film!), Hawke is not as interested in living the high life as he is in being an actor.

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