Friday, August 10, 2012

Ethan Hawke

When I was in high school in STC, I was known to be the hugest Ethan Hawke fan. Any one who hit puberty when the film Reality Bites came out would understand because Ethan Hawke as adorable Troy Dyer was simply irresistible. Reality Bites came out in 1994 while I was in fifth grade, but I fully got to appreciate it when I was in my early teens.

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The movie had an awesome soundtrack (hello, The Knack's My Sharona) so that, in itself, already makes it a winner. Ethan Hawke in it was this brooding, sexy, intellectual musician with the killer eyes. Oh, be still my 14-year-old heart.

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To say I was obsessed with Ethan Hawke is an understatement. I memorized lines from his films. I didn't do it deliberately. I watched his movies over and over so naturally, I learned the lines. Memorizing Reality Bites was an easy feat because the sarcasm-laden witty lines made for naturally quotable quotes. I collected photos of him and lovingly placed them in my green photo album. I did it the old-fashioned way too, because I didn't use the WWW when I was fourteen. I had to scour teen magazines like Teen Beat and YM to look for these pictures. Also, when I was in high school, I subscribed to Seventeen US. Well, actually, my godmother in the States did for me and she sent the magazines to me by courier. This helped immensely in my quest to collect anything Ethan-related. I had posters of him - which weirdly enough, I didn't put up so I simply kept them - and I pored over every article written about him. 

I also wrote to him. Uh-huh, I did. I wrote to him twice. He wrote back. Twice. He wrote on postcards with his photo on them and he signed them. At the back, for the first postcard, I remember he wrote something like, "Thank you for your support", and for the second one, he wrote "I appreciate your support." I still have the second postcard somewhere. I lost the first one because I must've brought it to school and it got passed around and I never got it back. I remember receiving those postcards in the mail. I had screamed and jumped around, and my mom had thought I was crazy.

Not a lot of people know that Ethan Hawke is not just a film actor. He is a theater actor, screenwriter, director - he directed Lisa Loeb's Stay video, a basketball aficionado - I remember he was a big John Starks of the New York Knicks fan, and a novelist. I have both his books: The Hottest State (1997) and Ash Wednesday (2002) . When the second novel came out, my friend, who also worshiped Ethan, was in LA when he did a reading at a bookstore. She bought his book for both of us, stood in line and had Ethan sign one for me. He wrote my (real) name! He wrote: To Krst'll. When my friend surprised me with it, I was over the moon.

Ethan Hawke, to this day, remains to be one of my favorite actors. I love his choice of films. He has been nominated for an Oscar twice. Here are my top ten favorite Ethan Hawke films. I won't include Reality Bites because I have already established how much I loved it. Take heed, however, that I won't anymore go into too much detail about what these films that I'm going to include in the list are all about. The fun is in the discovering or the re-discovering, whichever is the case for you.

1. Dead Poets Society 
A very young Ethan stars here. Quoting Invictus has never looked this good, in a very sexy, cerebral manner.

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2. Great Expectations
A pretty good film adaptation of one of my favorite books

Ethan and Gwyneth Paltrow star. Everyone loved that water fountain scene.

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3. Gattaca
Ethan does futuristic. He stars with Uma Thurman and Jude Law in this. I loved how inspiring this film is.

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4. Alive
Ethan in a survival-of-the-fittest situation. In the Andes mountains.

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5. White Fang
Ethan was in a Disney movie. Yes. He was Jack London. I loved the adventure feel of this.

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6. Before Sunrise aaaand Before Sunset
I know, I know. Technically, they're two films but one is a sequel to the other so they're counted as one. 

OMG. Watch these films. Ethan and Julie Delpy have amazing chemistry. For someone whose love story was founded on conversation, I can definitely relate. 

Before Sunrise
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Before Sunset
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7. The Newton Boys
Ethan as a bank robber. He stars in this film with Matthew McConaughey and Skeet Ulrich. Fun film.

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8. Training Day
The film that earned Ethan an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor

I love this to bits. It's intense and fast and feels so real. Ethans stars in this with Denzel Washington.

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9. Fast Food Nation
Ethan stars in an all-star cast which includes Greg Kinnear, Patricia Arquette and Kris Kristofferson. A controversial and critically-acclaimed film. I love it.

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10. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
A very gritty film

Ethan stars with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei.

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There you have it. When you've watched these films, give me a call. We'll talk and swoon and heap praises on this very talented man's formidable acting chops. I'll also show you my high school yearbook wherein I was described as, not just intelligent and fun, but as 'the future Mrs. Ethan Hawke.' Ha!

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