Actor Ethan Hawke, who plays Arthur Harrow in Moon Knight on Disney+, says that Marvel had tremendous faith in the actors’ contributions to the show.
Ethan Hawke says that Marvel had tremendous faith in the cast’s contributions to Moon Knight. Hawke plays Arthur Harrow, a cult leader and religious zealot who allies with the Egyptian god Ammit, eventually clashing with Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector/Moon Knight. The Disney+ series also features F. Murray Abraham, Gaspard Ulliel, May Calamawy, Fernanda Andrade, Ann Akinjirin, Díana Bermudez, and Sofia Danu.
Hawke accepted the role of Harrow without ever reading a script, as he was keen to work with both Isaac and Marvel. The actor has famously held a “no villain” rule throughout his career, as he felt that it would make him always appear as a villain for any subsequent roles, but has recently had a change of heart with both Moon Knight and director Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone, in which he also plays the antagonist. The actor had previously met with Marvel for potential projects, but they never came to fruition until he was offered the role of Arthur Harrow, which he has said “just felt right.”
Hawke, who has spent the majority of his career working in independent films, said (via THR) that Marvel Studios had tremendous faith and belief in the actors’ ability to contribute to the production of Moon Knight, which he was really impressed with. He notes that in previous encounters with bigger budget projects, the associated fear factor went up, which inhibited creative freedom. However, Hawke says that Marvel shows great confidence in their cast members, which greatly improves the creative relationship between producers and actors. Here’s Hawke’s full quote:
They have tremendous faith and belief in the actor’s ability to contribute. That opening scene is a great example of them using your creativity to help get you to invest in the show and to come up with original ideas. So I was really impressed by that. Oscar poured himself into this part. At one point when Oscar and I were rehearsing, I said to him, “You realize that they’re being so kind? They believe in us so much that if this doesn’t work, it’s our fault. We can’t blame anybody.” (Laughs.) But that’s really empowering as a performer. Yes, you have to work in their kitchen, but they’re going to let you work.
Hawke has had a long career of memorable roles, beginning his career as a child actor in projects like Explorers and Dead Poet’s Society, before becoming the face of Gen X with his role in Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites. The actor has had a strong collaborative relationship with director Richard Linklater, starring in his Before trilogy, as well as Fast Food Nation, The Newton Boys, and Boyhood. His most well-known modern roles include Training Day, Sinister, The Purge, and First Reformed, directed by Paul Schrader, who also recently directed Moon Knight‘s Isaac in The Card Counter.
Hawke has always been an intense and devoted actor, having worked in a myriad of genres and with a long list of talented filmmakers and actors throughout his career. While comic-book films sometimes get a bad rap for being churned out in an assembly-line fashion, having an actor of Hawke’s caliber praise Marvel for their collaborative practices is a good example of why the studio continues to excel. In the past, Marvel has welcomed many A-list actors and talent to join their films, from Robert Redford to Tommy Lee Jones to Ben Kingsley to William Hurt and beyond, showing that they’re not only paying well, but also able to entice veteran talent to add to their growing empire, with Hawke being a part of that crowd. Moon Knight debuts on Disney+ on March 30th.
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