Ethan Hawke says Marvel is 'extremely actor-friendly,' not very 'director-friendly'
Ethan Hawke will not become a casualty in the war between iconic film directors and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thank you very much.
The Academy Award-nominated actor, who made his Marvel debut in the Disney+ series Moon Knight, remained diplomatic when asked about Martin Scorsese's criticism of MCU films (they're "not cinema," he says) in an interview with IndieWire published Tuesday. Scorsese and fellow MCU critic Francis Ford Coppola are "not stuck up," Hawke said.
"If people like Scorsese and Coppola don't come out to tell their truth about how there are more important things than making money, who's going to?" Hawke inquired.
"It's easy for them, but it needs to be somebody in the community saying, 'Hey, everybody, this is not Fanny and Alexander," Hawke added. "If you keep reviewing these movies that are basically made for 14-year-olds like they're Fanny and Alexander or Winter Light, then who the hell's going to get to make Winter Light? I appreciate the elder statesmen of the community reminding people not to set the bar too low."
He continued, "I know it makes some people think they're stuck up, but they're not stuck up." Hawke, for his part, said he had a "really good experience" on Moon Knight opposite Oscar Isaac, but suggested that Marvel films aren't always the most "director-friendly." "That group of people is extremely actor-friendly — they might not be director-friendly, and that could be what Scorsese and Coppola are talking about," he explained.
"I think Kevin Feige had a great thing happen with Robert Downey Jr. and he understood that Downey's passion was a large part of the success," Hawke said. "When actors are excited by a part, audiences get excited about watching them. Feige understood the algorithm there, so they're extremely respectful toward the process. The best thing about Moon Knight for me was Oscar's performance. It's a gonzo thing that happens to have a giant budget — a pretty out-there performance."
Hawke played villain Arthur Harrow, a former avatar of the god Khonshu who previously held the Moon Knight title, opposite Isaac's titular hero. Isaac himself pitched the series to Hawke after they bumped into each other at a coffee shop in Brooklyn. Hawke previously told EW that Isaac's enthusiasm emboldened him to join the MCU. "I had a feeling that if Oscar was this convincing to me [about Moon Knight], he might be that convincing to the world as this character," he explained.
"He really wanted to play this part and his reasons were sound and he was dedicated, and I just felt right about it immediately," Hawke continued. "Plus, I'd already been in talks with [director[ Mohamed [Diab]. I'd been working on another project with Mohamed that he had to drop out of to do this, and so it seemed like such synchronicity that both these guys would come at me with a Marvel job. I felt like, well, if I was ever going to jump into this playground, the time is obviously now."
Moon Knight is available to stream on Disney+.