12 Things We Learned About Ethan Hawke From Reddit

The star of Universal's "The Purge" took questions from fans during an Ask Me Anything session on the site 

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 12:31 PM

Ethan Hawke, star of Universal's home invasion thriller "The Purge," capitalized on the film's  social media buzz by taking to Reddit on Wednesday for a Q&A session with fans.

Hawke, also starring in Richard Linklater's critically-accalimed indie "Before Midnight," participated in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, pumping out a variety of elegant answers.

The actor fielded questions ranging from what inspired him to become an actor to what the buying process is like when shopping for an island.

Also read: 'Before Midnight's' Director, Stars Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke Celebrate 'the Lowest-Grossing Trilogy Ever'

TheWrap dug through all of his responses and put together a list of the 12 most interesting things we learned about the Oscar-nominated actor. Here they are:

1. Gary Sinise and John Malkovich inspired Hawke to become an actor.

"I saw Gary Sinise and John Malkovich do Sam Shepherd's play TRUE WEST on PBS when I was 13. And I can only describe the feeling as the way I hear people talk about Marlon Brando do STREETCAR; I felt like a door in my brain had been opened."

2. Ethan Hawke shares the Reddit community's love for his "Lord of War" co-star, Nicolas Cage, and puts the actor on the same pedestal as Marlon Brando:

"I'm kind of obsessed with Nic Cage. I just found out about /r/onetruegod too. He's the only actor since Marlon Brando that's actually done anything new with the art of acting; he's successfully taken us away from an obsession with naturalism into a kind of presentation style of acting that I imagine was popular with the old troubadours. If I could erase his bottom half bad movies, and only keep his top half movies, he would blow everyone else out of the water. He's put a little too much water in his beer, but he is still one of the great actors of our time. And working with him was an absolute pleasure. In fact, one of my favorite scenes I've ever done is the last scene in LORD OF WAR."

3. Hawke has worked with Cage, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams, Richard Gere, Matthew McConqaughey, Ben Stiller and River Phoenix, but he has yet to share the screen with Leonardo DiCaprio and really, really wants to.

"I know he's crazy famous and everyone wants to work with him, but I admire tremendously the way he has handled his celebrity. After the success of TITANIC, it would have been very easy for him to wind up another drug-addled casualty on the Hollywood Strip; but instead he's dedicated himself to making great films and doesn't he need an older brother? Or a bad guy? Isn't there a role for me somewhere?"

4. Although he's dying to work with DiCaprio, Hawke thinks his Academy Award-winning "Training Day" co-star is the greatest movie star of our time.

"To my mind, Denzel Washington is the greatest movie star of our time. There's nothing he can't do. And TRAINING DAY is for me like threading a needle; it's very difficult to make a hit movie, and it's very difficult to make a good movie, and very rarely can you accomplish both at the same time. And Denzel does it over and over again."

5. Hawke is not only an actor and director, but he's an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and novelist with intentions of finishing his third book this summer. He's also super articulate and gives great advice to aspiring writers:

"Write every day. Not every other day. Not tomorrow. Not after the party. But before. The more you write, the more comes out of you. If you don't give inspiration an opportunity, it will never arrive."

6. His favorite place to visit in the world is a Parisian bookstore, which was the setting of the opening to "Before Sunset."

"You know, we set the opening of BEFORE SUNSET in a bookstore in Paris called Shakespeare And Company, and I think that would have to go down as my favorite place to visit. It's right there on the Seine overlooking Notre Dame and has a long history of some of the great minds in literature passing through the doors, and there's a feel there that is unlike any other place I've ever been."

7. Hawke apparently looks like a character in the video game "Half-Life" and he's not happy about it.

"No, they haven't, but I just looked at his picture and he looks a little bit creepy. Do I look that creepy? One of the things that sucks about getting older is that you start to look kind of creepy…"

8. Hawke owns an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, where there are eagles, and seals, and raccoons, and pine trees for days.

"I own an 8 acre island off the coast of Nova Scotia; there are eagles, and seals, and raccoons, and pine trees for days. Believe it or not, land is actually quite affordable up there, and it's still rugged and un-gentrified. The people are straightforward and a pleasure to be around; I try to take my kids up there at least once a year. It's a place to disappear in the many times in my life when I've needed to."

9. His own private island was cheaper than an apartment in Manhattan.

"One does not shop for an island; I have friends in Nova Scotia, and often visited them, one of whom was an older woman who could no longer take care of her island, and she asked if I would buy it. A closet in Manhattan costs more than an island in Nova Scotia. So I answered yes. And I'm happy I did."

10. If Hawke could legally commit any crime like the government allows in "The Purge," he would be a "the world's biggest badass, most fierce environmental terrorist."

"If I could do anything without repercussions, I would become the world's biggest badass, most fierce environmental terrorist. I would make all the bastards who profit from destroying our planet regret the day they were born. Think natural-born vigilante."

12. If you go see "The Purge" this weekend and get the feeling that the film is an allegory for the Trayvon Martin case, Hawke wants you to know that you're absolutely right.

"What I like about the movie is it operates as an allegory. It's set in the "future" when rich people don't care about the violence done to poor people. All good genre films to my mind should have a subversive, anti-Government, punk rock sensibility. For example, THE WARRIORS, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THEY LIVE, THE THING… it should never just be scary. It should be scary plus give you something to think about. And if you can watch THE PURGE and watch that young African-American run for his life through a gated community and not think of Trayvon Martin, then you will definitely miss the point of THE PURGE."

Ending this series of revelations on a lighter note, Hawke loves Tang — even though it tastes awful.

"I will always have a soft spot for Tang, no matter how vile it tastes, because when my father and I used to go camping, for breakfast we would have granola bars and Tang. For lunch we would have wolf's chili and Tang. And for dinner we would have hot dogs and Tang."

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