When you think of Ethan Hawke, I can almost guarantee that you wouldn’t necessarily associate him with the horror genre. But that’s one thing the seasoned thespian (Hawke stays busy both on the big screen as well as in the theater) is about to change this Friday when Daybreakers gets released.
Dread Central recently had the opportunity to talk with Hawke during the LA press junket to find out his thoughts on working in the genre, what drew him to the project, and how he feels Daybreakers matches up against that tiny little phenomenon known as Twilight.
“What’s great about Daybreakers is that it’s the first post-adolescent vampire movie in a long time,” said Hawke. “What’s funny is that when I first got the script, a vampire movie seemed like a radically different idea at the time. No one was doing vampire stuff just then so it was fascinating to watch Twilight exploding in pop culture right as I was finishing up a vampire movie.”
“What makes Daybreakers totally different than something like Twilight is that it is a rated R movie. I mean, vampires are scary creatures so they should be rated R,” Hawke added.
Hawke’s performance in the indie hit Before Sunrise put him on the map in Hollywood. While a lot of his peers made their starts in horror flicks, that was one genre Hawke never had the opportunity to dabble in during his early years in the industry. Not that he didn’t come up being well versed in horror; after all, he had the help of one of horror’s most beloved directors of the 80s to learn the ways of the genre – Joe Dante.
Hawke explained, “When I first started acting with Joe, he had just finished with movies like Gremlins and The Howling. I really learned a lot from him about the genre and what goes into making original and creative horror movies. He’s such a great source for that.”
“That’s why I liked the script for Daybreakers. It has a lot of things going for it, like originality. It’s not a graphic novel or based on some 60s TV show, so there’s a lot of new ideas with the vampire realm in Daybreakers,” added Hawke.
Beyond the originality, Hawke also feels like Daybreakers has something deeper going on – a strong social message (even if it’s wrapped up in a shiny, ass-kicking vampire movie).
“I think a lot of great genre movies have a metaphor going on in the subtext, or even that they have something more to say,” said Hawke. “Daybreakers has this idea of people destroying their resources and not caring about that fact until they’re about to run out, which is really possible. Oil is a huge resource in our lives, so it’s not a stretch to think that Daybreakers could mean that our society is sucking our resources dry, literally.”
“But what’s kind of cool is that when a movie has an analogy that is strong enough, it can apply to whatever you think that analogy means to you on a personal level. I mean, I even joked earlier that this could be the #1 movie for PETA advocates now,” Hawke added.
Does Daybreakers successfully deliver on both the message and horror fronts? Check the film out for yourself when it hits theaters on Friday, January 8th.
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