2013 has been quite the year for Ethan Hawke.
After starring in one of the biggest thrillers of the year, The Purge, he’s ending the summer with another high-intensity film that will leave us on the edge of our seats, Getaway.
Alongside Selena Gomez, the film follows a man who tries to save his wife by working with a dictator who gives him deadly demands inside of a racecar. Let’s just say Ethan is definitely bringing out his badass side.
But the scary moments weren’t just on-screen, as Ethan recently sat down with GlobalGrind to talk about the making of this action movie.
We got a chance to discuss what it was like to work with Selena, the most challenging moment from the movie, and what kind of music he would play in a car chase.
Check out the exclusive interview below!
GlobalGrind: What was it like putting yourself into the mind of a character under such high pressure? Did you use any of your real life situations to get into that mentality?
Ethan Hawke: You always try to do that to some extent. [pauses] Alright, you want me to really answer the question? I think about what it’s like when, oh, say you left your kid in a grocery store. I’ve got 4 kids. So if one of them runs across the parking lot and you didn’t notice it, there’s this unbelievable panic that sets in. It’s almost like this noise in your head where you don’t really think about anything else. It’s making so much noise in your head. You think about something incredibly simple as like that. Or like, “oh shit, I was supposed to pick him up from school.” Even that simple little anxiety; I kind of imagine that through the scenario and it usually is just about your imagination.
Do you think you, yourself, would go through risking all of those people’s lives to save a loved one? You must have killed about 30 people!
I was thinking about that, especially at the end of the movie! Like, this guy’s got to go to jail! I mean it’s not really his fault, but it is his fault because really he should have gone to the cops. We always play that game, like OK, if you could save your family, how many people would you be willing to… It is a strange side bar to the movie to think about: “wow, this is really bad.”
What was it like working with Selena Gomez? You guys worked in such an intense movie, as opposed to a comedy or drama. She doesn’t do this often.
It was fun. It was new for her. What’s nice about that is that I’ve been acting for a long time now, so when it’s new for someone else, it kind of makes it new for you. It’s like taking someone to a movie you’ve seen before, but if they haven’t, it’s still kind of fresh. So I enjoyed working with her in that way. I really relate to her. I understand her in ways she probably doesn’t even know. The way that she’s interested in more than one thing. She likes acting, she likes singing, and she’s not really sure what path to pursue more intensely. The world often makes you feel like you have to choose, and you really don’t have to choose. Funny thing is, life is long. You have time to do a lot of stuff. I enjoyed working with a young person at a particularly interesting moment in her life.
Selena has said that she felt there was a moment during rehearsal drives with you that she felt like she was going to die. Did you ever feel like that during practicing, or that maybe you shouldn’t be doing this?
There was one stunt I did where towards the end of the movie I’m driving down the highway and these two black BMW’s are smashing against me. The director really wanted a shot of seeing them and me in our cars. You know what’s really scary about it is the camera. There’s also this giant camera truck that’s also going 75 miles an hour. So if they hit the brakes, or I drift too far back from it, the shot isn’t worth doing. They won’t be able to see that it’s me. So I remember when those two cars were slamming into me and these fake guns were being shot at my head, I just thought that they should let the stunt guy do this one. This is one for the green screen.
What was your favorite scene to shoot? Or even the hardest scene to shoot?
My favorite was getting to do some of the stunts. The fun of the movie is just blowing up cars. My whole life I’ve always wanted to spin the car around and drive away. That was really fun. The hardest was definitely trying to make these preposterous situations come across as authentic as possible. That was definitely the most challenging.
When you first got this script and you saw the ending to this movie, what were your thoughts? It’s such a cliffhanger!
I was so impressed that they managed to make this whole movie take place all in one place. I’m kind of excited by the idea that I hadn’t seen this exact movie before. It’s something unique about it that you can build something good. I don’t know. Maybe I was excited to just drive a cool car.
If you were in a car chase right now and the police were after you, what would you say would be on your playlist?
Alright, so if I’m speeding away, what would I want to rock out to? I’m worried I’m going to show my age here, because it’s taking me back to like senior year of high school. Driving fast to Guns N’ Roses is really appealing to me. You know, anything loud. I want to answer with something really good….I’ll stick with Guns N’ Roses.
What are some of the projects that are coming up for you?
Well, I’m doing Shakespeare’s MacBeth at Lincoln Center in the fall. So that’s going to be challenging for me, and fun. I did this movie a few years ago called Gattaca, and I did this movie with Nick Cage called Lord Of War. That writer and director is doing another movie which I’ll probably join when I finish this Shakespeare play.