Ethan Hawke chastises young people for “not watching more movies”

Ethan Hawke has chastised young people for “not watching more movies” in a new interview.

Speaking to MovieMaker, the actor said he can’t understand why they aren’t watching more movies at a time when they are readily available on streaming platforms.

He told the publication: “The thing that I don’t understand — and this makes me sound old — but what I don’t understand about young people today is why they don’t watch more movies.

“I mean, they’re perfectly willing to binge watch, for weeks of their life, something they know is really super okay, and the Criterion Channel is right there. Like, they could be watching Badlands as we speak,” he told the publication.


He also went on to say that he thinks there is a lack of education surrounding great filmmakers.

“They don’t know who Fassbinder is and they don’t know who Éric Rohmer is and they don’t know who Kurosawa is. They think they’re modern and they haven’t seen Do the Right Thing. Are you kidding? It’s on your damn phone, watch it!” he says. “But they’d somehow rather watch some TV show that came out yesterday that they won’t remember.”

He continued: “I say all that not to sound crotchety…But there’s so much excellence in the past, so many of these thoughts of what we’re all going through emotionally and what we’re looking for — authenticity in our lives and healing — all these common threads of humanity people have been talking about for centuries. Cinema is a young art form, but it’s 100 years old now, and there’s a lot of great work, and you can rip it off madly.”


“…But I’m always amazed at how often young people who say, ‘I love movies and I want to make movies’ don’t actually watch movies.”

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Hawke recently opened up about the advice he received from Denzel Washington after losing out on an Oscar.

Hawke was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in crime thriller Training Day at the 2002 Academy Awards. The award ultimately went to British actor Jim Broadbent for Iris.


Hawke, now 53, has shared that his co-star Washington, who won the award for Best Actor that evening for Training Day, provided him with some useful advice, following his loss.

Speaking on Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace (via Variety), Hawke described how following the announcement, Washington whispered in Hawke’s ear: “It’s better that you didn’t win. Losing was better.”

Hawke explained Washington’s advice, saying: “You don’t want an award to improve your status. You want to improve the award’s status. That’s the way he thinks.”

The Dead Poets Society actor added: “The Academy Award has more power, because Denzel has a couple. It didn’t elevate who he was.”

Hawke has just released his fifth directorial project, Wildcat, starring daughter and Stranger Things star Maya Hawke.