Ethan Hawke on Trump and Diversity

SAN SEBASTIAN September 16 — At Spain's San Sebastian Festival to accept a career-achievement Donostia Award, a forward-looking, reflective and self-deprecating Ethan Hawke fielded a gamut of questions on topics from Donald Trump to death.

Hawke's Donostia Award – the festival's highest honor – came as he presented Antoine Fuqua's "The Magnificent Seven," which world-premiered at Toronto, to open the San Sebastian festival. Some highlights from his remarks:


Asked if Donald Trump would like "The Magnificent Seven," in which he stars: "I bet Donald Trump would like the film. But he doesn't know that what the film is actually about is people gathering together to defeat him."


Hawke concurred with a journalist who commented that the original "Magnificent Seven" had racist elements: Eli Wallach playing a Mexican "in brown makeup, doing a bad Mexican accent, and seven white guys, for instance," Hawke said. He added: "I think one of the greatest ways to speak about diversity is to make a movie with a bunch of people from different cultures and make something beautiful. I get to work with people from lots of different cultures. We have Vincent D'Onofrio, Denzel Washington, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, a Mexican actor. It's great to have us all work together. It's great the movie doesn't talk about race but just shows it."


"One of the wonderful things Antoine did with this film is let the film speak for itself….If Clint Eastwood walks into a room and everyone stops, it's because he is a gunslinger. If Denzel walks into a room and everyone stops, you don't know why."

Hawke paid tribute to his "Magnificent Seven" co-star, who received the Donostia Award a few years back. "It's great working with Denzel because he does this profession at a very high level. There are very few giant movie stars who are great artists. Denzel is one. He has done it even with the albatross of race being thrown at him, which I'm sure gets very boring."


Variety, September 17, 2016

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