Ethan Hawke discovers that movie villains are often based on “mental illness”.
The 51-year-old actor plays the charismatic antagonist Arthur Harrow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe spin-off series ‘Moon Knight,’ and while he believes movie history is full of “wacky” villains, he had to find a “sane wacko.” for doing the part of him because the process was “reversed” for the show.
The actor explained to ‘Collider’: “The history of cinema is paved with storytellers who use mental illness as a basis to build the villain. There are countless stories of villains with mental illness, but we have a hero with a mental illness and that’s fascinating. because now we have the reverse of the whole process. As an antagonist, I can’t be crazy because the hero is crazy, so I have to find a sane madman or a sane malevolent force.” Ethan stars in the upcoming series alongside Oscar Isaac, who takes on the lead role of a Jewish-American mercenary with dissociative identity disorder. Hawke explained that playing alongside a character suffering from mental illness is an “interesting mystery”. “It was an interesting puzzle for me to figure out how to come to terms with what Oscar was doing. Mohamed [Diab, Regisseur] really embraced the character’s mental illness to create an unreliable narrator,” the star continued.