Ethan Hawke - Becoming Chet Baker in "Born to Be Blue"

March 24, 2016 - Ethan Hawke 03/24/2016 Views: 647

Actor Ethan Hawke talks about his futile attempt to learn the trumpet for his role as jazz musician Chet Baker in the biopic "Born to Be Blue." (4:59)

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Please welcome Ethan Hawke.

-♪ -(cheering and applause)

All right! All right!All right! All right!

Love you guys!

Thank you.

-Wow, this is good. -Mr. Hawke,thank you for being here.

-Hey, thanks for having me.-Thank you. Thank you so much.

You-you... What's it like, man?You... Big hit TV show.

You're...running the world, aren't you?

-I mean, how's it going? -Well,I mean, I have Ethan Hawke

on my show, so, yeah,I'm doing pretty well.

-But h-how you feeling? -I'mdoing... I'm doing great, man.

How are you doing?You know, what's crazy is,

you, you are that guy.

I mean, I-I grew up watchingyour movies, everything.

I mean, Training Day, I mean,you know, Boyhood, I mean...

-(cheering) -You know?Like, yeah, this is...

this is, uh...

this is...this is that moment for me.

I mean, uh... And this movieis really a beautiful story.

A biopic about, uh, Chet Baker.

Uh, I-I mean, I don't rememberseeing you in a role

quite this intense.

It's a beautiful story.

And you learnedto play the trumpet as well.

Yeah, well, you know, I didn'tlearn to play the trumpet

like one of the greatjazz trumpeters of all time.

You know, I-I...

you know,muscled my way through it.

I mean, I' give you an example,

I first started gettingtrumpet lessons

and had a very simple task,to kind of learn

four or five songs--that's all I had to learn--

and I had about fouror five months to prepare.

And I-I wentto two or three lessons

and I called the directorand I just...

I pleaded with himto push it a year.

You know, that-that...that if he could give me...

-Just for the trumpet?-If he could give me a year,

I promise I could dosomething okay, I promise.

And-and, um,the trouble was my...

Uh, I went and told my trumpetteacher. I said, "Look..."

I asked him if...what would happen, you know...

would the money people stillbe around. "Could we do that?"

My trumpet teacherlooks at me, he's like,

"If you waited eight years...

-"you wouldn't be anywhereclose. -You still wouldn't

-be ready. -Like, trust me.You're so far behind already."

Um, so, it...I didn't learn to play the...

I-I did the singing,and I worked hard on that,

and what I did is I kind oftried to learn these songs.

And then you just turn upthe music really loud, you know?

And you play alongand ignore your own sounds.

You know what, it's's a really...

it's a really sad story as well.I mean, it's inspiring,

because Chet Bakerhad to relearn--

and-and I learned the storyfrom-from the movie--

-he had to relearnhow to play the trumpet -Yeah.

-after they attacked...-It's a thing a lot of...

even jazz fans don't know...that he,

you know, got beat up severelyand lost all his teeth.

And he had to relearnthe trumpet, and people

who play the trumpet know whatlosing your embouchure means--

-i-it means everything,you know? -Yeah.

It's like a piano playergetting their hands cut off

or something. He had to,um, start from scratch.

And... it's really admirablebecause he...

What was remarkableabout him was that he was

just a natural musician.He couldn't read music.

Everything had comeso easily to him in his life,

and all of a sudden,he had to work extremely hard.

Yeah, you-you're no strangerto working, uh, extremely hard.

When you go into these roles,

how much do you allowthe role to consume you?

Like, do you... do you ever findyourself coming out of a funk

after you've playedthis character for a while?

Do you find that you haveChet Baker in you now?

Well... yes.

I mean, that is the strangestthing about my job,

is that what you're...You're dealing with

your emotional life, and-andso your body doesn't know

that you're pretending,if that makes sense?

Like... I...

It's difficult.

-It's the hardest thing...I like doing movies, -Yeah.

because I get to do thataway from my family.

You've asked me a very seri...I-I really do. My wife hates it.

She's, like, you know...When I say I'm gonna do Macbeth

-on Broadway, here at home,she's like, -Yeah.

"You're gonna be homeplaying Macbeth?

"So, you're gonna, like,kill a whole village

and then come home to me?Uh..."

You know? Like...

"Can't you pick, like,a light comedy?"

I'll tell youone way too personal story,

which is that m-my wife...

We have a garbage canin our house, okay?

-I can't believe I'm gonna tellthis story. -That's not

-really personal. I mean,everybody has... -No, I...

-No, no. -I don't knowif that's, like, a...

if that's, like, an actorsthing. "We have a garbage can,

um, in our house."

Most people just throwtheir junk on the floor,

but we have a garbage can.Okay, okay.

-Okay, that's not the end ofthe story, pal, okay? -Yes, yes.

And so, um... And my wife leavesthis garbage can here

'cause one daywhen, I think, I was late

for a parent-teacher conferencewhen I was doing this play

that I'm telling you about,I kicked the hell out

of this garbage can.I mean, I went to town

on this garbage can. I wasso angry at this garbage can

for making me...I don't know why I thought

it was responsible.But-but my wife refuses

to get a new garbage canas a reminder in the kitchen

for me to keep myself together,okay?

And-and, like... So whenI'm taking a role and stuff,

she says, "And how's the garbagecan gonna feel about this role?"


That is priceless.

Born to Be Blue will bein select theaters Friday.

-Ethan Hawke, everybody.-(cheering and applause)

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