NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Ethan Hawke visits AOL Build at Build Studio on May 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

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Ethan Hawke is Still Taking Himself, and His Work, Very Seriously

The actor, who’s approached fame and creative success in a roundabout way, is still honing his craft.

A new profile in the New York Times delves into what actor Ethan Hawke is working on — as well as the incredible, in-depth backstory of how he “metabolized” a barrage of criticism over decades to become the Oscar-nominated actor, screenwriter, playwright and author he is today.

“He learned to look at the world that way: that the striving was the work of being an artist, that every good thing would lead to another good thing, that being taken too seriously at first might doom you in some ways but that taking yourself seriously means that at least one person takes you seriously,” Taffy Brodesser-Akner writes, revealing what Denzel Washington whispered to Hawke after he lost his nomination for best supporting actor Oscar in 2002: “‘You know, you don’t want to win that, man. Wait until they give it to you because they have to. You want to win because the work demands it.’”

But Hawke wore “his critics down with his earnestness and his dedication and his sincerity” throughout his career, and it was these things “that caused the ridicule in the first place.”

“And now — now! Now here he was, a nearly 100 percent surefire Oscar contender for his performance as a pastor in this spring’s ‘First Reformed,’ the kind of role he would never even dream of asking to audition for 10 years ago. ‘Blaze’ is entering theaters attached to early reviews that offer no qualifiers when they mention their admiration for it and its director.”

Read the full story at the New York Times