Ethan Hawke

Actor, writer, director
"Ethan Hawke has quietly emerged as perhaps our boldest and most distinctive screen actor," writes The New York Times.

Why you should listen

Ethan Hawke is a four-time Academy Award-nominated actor, writer and director whose career spans three decades. His prolific filmography includes Dead Poets Society; Reality Bites; Gattaca; Training Day (Academy Award and SAG nominations); Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Boyhood (Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations); Born to Be Blue; Maudie; Richard Linklater's trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, for which he received two Academy Award nominations as coscreenwriter; and 2018's First Reformed, for which he won Best Actor prizes from the Independent Spirit Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Gotham Awards. 

In 2014, Hawke made his documentary filmmaking debut with Seymour: An Introduction, based on the legendary pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein. He most recently directed, cowrote and produced the music biopic, Blaze, inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, released by IFC Films in 2018.

Hawke is also a Tony-nominated stage actor and appeared on Broadway five times, including the acclaimed revival of Sam Shepard's True West; Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia; the title role in Macbeth; Henry IV; and The Seagull. He has appeared off-Broadway and regionally at BAM in The Cherry Orchard and The Winter's Tale and in Buried Child at Steppenwolf, among many others.

Hawke will make his television debut with the Showtime eight-part series The Good Lord Bird, based on the National Book Award-winning novel by James McBride, which he also cowrote and executive-produced. On screen, he will next be seen in Hirokazu Kore-eda's The Truth starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, released by IFC.

In addition to his acting career, Hawke has published several novels, including Ash WednesdayThe Hottest State, a graphic novel entitled Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars and a young adult novel Rules for a Knight, with more on the way.

Ethan Hawke’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Ethan Hawke

Live from TED2020

Beauty everywhere: Notes from Session 6 of TED2020

June 26, 2020

We’re six weeks into TED2020! For session 6: a celebration of beauty on every level, from planet-trekking feats of engineering to art that deeply examines our past, present, future — and much more. Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle, planetary scientist  Big idea: The Dragonfly Mission, set to launch in 2026, will study Titan, the largest moon orbiting […]

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