Ethan Hawke still lights up, but is he worried about kid imitators?


I was finishing up a chat with Ethan Hawke, star of the Oscar contending “Boyhood,” and of the January sci-fi time-travel thriller “Predestination.” We’d talked about “people finally GETTING (“Boyhood” writer-director) Richard Linklater,” about the notion of lives that seem predestined, and his long-gestating plans to play jazz great Chet Baker, a film which he finally got to do and just finished in December.

So in parting, I hit him with how cool he looks, sucking cigarette smoke through his nostrils and the assorted other tricks of the smoker’s trade. It’s very much on display in “Predestination,” which opens in mid January. Does he worry about kids wanting to imitate him?

“I do worry about it a little bit. But you have no IDEA how cool smoking can look until you see how Chet smokes!”

He laughs.

“It makes you wonder if you are impacting people in some ways you don’t expect. I was in a taxi a couple of weeks ago and the taxi driver recognized me. He launched into a diatribe about the way I smoke in ‘Brooklyn’s Finest.’ ‘The COOLEST,’ he says. Somehow, this guy had spent months thinking about this. He was so excited to talk to me about the way I lit that cigarette after I shot some guy. ”

Hawke chuckles, and then as he often does, gives a considered answer, and a funny one.
“So, it’s not my fault if your children smoke. But maybe it is.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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