(Credit: Nicolas Genin)

Ethan Hawke: ‘Hollywood chewed up River Phoenix before his death’

Ethan Hawke has talked about the loss of his friend River Phoenix, the actor explaining how he believes that the industry of Hollywood “chewed him up”.

Hawke appeared alongside the late River Phoenix in the 1985 film Explorers then, eight years later when River was aged just 23, he passed away after a drug overdose in Los Angeles. However, speaking in a new interview, Hawke has now discussed how the death of his friend changed the way in which he viewed the film industry and why it’s the reason that he has been hesitant to go heavily down the Hollywood route. Hawke’s lack of an appetite for the glamour of Hollywood is perhaps why his career is still going as strong as ever.

“You know what you asked me about earlier, why I don’t make easier movies?” he told The Guardian. “Well, my first screen partner overdosed on Sunset Boulevard, you know? He was the brightest light and this industry chewed him up, and that was a big lesson to me.

“If I had to put a single reason on why I never moved to LA, it would be I think it’s too dangerous for an actor like me to be in that kind of climate,” he added. Hawke was then probed about Phoenix’s death, as well as other friends who have succumbed to mental health-related issues such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams, to which Hawke replied: “Drugs and alcohol and depression are formidable opponents all over the world.

“People think getting what you want will make you happy, but a sense of self, purpose and love don’t come from the outside. You can’t get distracted by this culture that celebrates things that sometimes aren’t what they seem,” Hawke added.

It was recently revealed that Hawke and his daughter, Maya, are both set to star in a new comedy film in which Maya will play a teenager who is obsessed with George Harrison and attempts to lose her virginity with The Beatles guitarist.

The Beatles-centric film is appropriately titled Revolver and the person behind it is Finding Nemo co-director Andrew Stanton. The picture will follow Ethan and Maya who will portray father and daughter in the ’60s-set romantic comedy. It has been widely reported that Maya’s character will be called Jane, a teenager resident of Anchorage, Alaska who is trying to lose her virginity to The Beatles guitarist.

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