The Evolution of Ethan Hawke from “The Explorers” to Now

Every actor goes through an evolutionary period in which their acting, their persona, and even their entire outlook on the industry changes. Ethan Hawke has been accused of being someone that got into acting on accident and just stuck around, when in truth he dropped out to pursue an acting career when he took on the role of Todd in Dead Poets Society. He didn’t fall into anything as he’s been working quite hard throughout his life to sustain a career and continue to build on an already impressive resume that’s seen him star in some truly impressive movies. Like many actors however he’s had to go through periods of inactivity and moments when he finds himself in a movie that’s anything but a blockbuster.

It seems customary in Hollywood to watch your life go by in stages, especially considering that once you’re there you might think you have the golden ticket. Hawke however has been one of the working actors for a long time now and has been doing his utmost to keep his place at times. This can be evidenced from some of his earlier roles and on through those that he’s taken as he’s gotten older. There is no easy in Hollywood as you can see in the behind scenes of various movies and there is no security since quite honestly each new generation coming up is trying to supplant those that came before at one point. Simply doing the job is not enough, these actors need to evolve in a way that insures their place in the Hollywood elite.

Here are a few film clips that depict the changing career of Ethan Hawke.

The Explorers

Starring with River Phoenix, Ethan took on a role in this movie that many people could possibly remember from their childhood if they tried. The Explorers was about a trio of young boys that decided to flirt with the idea of traveling into outer space before they finally found the way to do so. The dreams that led to this wild idea were revealed to be given by a pair of aliens that had been wanting to interact with humans in a very childish, gleeful way that ignored the danger that their parents apparently felt. The boys however managed to take the ride of their lives only to return to earth and continue to dream about how to do it again.

Dead Poets Society

Todd was the most insecure of the students in Keating’s class and it was painfully obvious. Hawke had gone from being a precocious young boy to being a very shy and reclusive teen that didn’t know how to interact with young men his own age. It took someone like the unconventional Professor Keating to finally break him out of his shell and show him that there was a world beyond his closed off little sanctuary that he was missing. Once this happened things started to get very complicated for Todd and the rest of the students, but in the end they finally began to come clear.

The Newton Boys

The Newton Boys were perhaps America’s most successful bank robbers in that they managed to get away with their lives and enjoy themselves for a substantial amount of time before finally being caught. This seemed to signal a big upswing in Hawke’s life as he was allowed to play loose, casual, and have a lot of fun with the role of Jess Newton. The film took a lot of liberties obviously with history, but it at least was an amusing thrill ride as it did its best to take people back to the days when robbing banks only required a gun and a clever getaway plan.

Training Day

Ethan Hawke has had periods of time in his career when he seems to get gritty, raw, and rough. His character in this film isn’t as tough as Denzel’s but he’s certainly not a pushover. Instead he’s an officer of the law that’s just entered a world he barely knew existed. As he goes through his training day with his new boss and mentor he can’t help but wonder just what he’ll be forced to do as the hours wear on and his boss continues to force him into situations he’s not fully equipped to deal with.

The Purge

One thing Hawke can say is that he was there when the Purge started, as he was in the first film of the franchise that has gripped the nation. By that time the Purge had already been effect for some time, and his character was fully equipped to deal with it, having built a fortress that could keep his family safe from all but the most dedicated individuals. The character was one of those that banked on the fact that his money and what it could buy would help him, a rich individual that didn’t think much of anything other than procuring the needed protection for his family.

The Magnificent Seven

At times in his roles it almost seems as though Ethan has worn down at this point. He seems quite grizzled in this film, as though he’s seen and done too much and is simply tired. Even in his regular, everyday life it seems that this is what’s happened, that he’s simply seen and done too much at times. Well to be honest, he’s done quite a bit and gone through more than one evolution in his career.

That’d make just about anyone look and feel a little worn out.

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