Exclusive: Ethan Hawke Talks Sinister, Remembers Explorers and More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Ethan Hawke Talks Sinister, Remembers Explorers and More

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Ever since his feature film debut in 1985, Joe Dante’s Explorers, Ethan Hawke has continuously impressed audiences with memorable performances in countless films including Dead Poets Society, White Fang, Training Day, Lord of War and Brooklyn’s Finest.

His latest, Sinister (review), marks Hawke’s second foray into the horror genre (the 2009 flick Daybreakers being his first), which finds the actor portraying a struggling novelist, Ellison Oswalt, who moves his family into the very neighborhood where a family were mysteriously murdered only months before so that he can research their heinous demise for his latest book project. Directed by Scott Derrickson, Sinister was co-written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill and also stars Juliet Rylance and James Ransone and features a cameo by Vincent D’Onofrio.

Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to sit down and exclusively chat with Hawke during the Sinister press day; during our interview we discussed with him whether or not being an author influenced his decision to take the role of a true crime novelist in the flick. Hawke also spoke with us about the kinds of characters he enjoys playing and even reflects on what he learned while working with Joe Dante on Explorers and his thoughts on the current independent film scene.

Check out our interview with Hawke below, and look for Sinister in theaters everywhere this Friday, October 12th, courtesy of Summit Entertainment.

Dread Central: When you were first approached for Sinister, considering that you’re a successful writer in your own life, was there a special appeal to this character to you because he is a writer, or was it more about the project having a really good script?

Ethan Hawke: First of all, I never know what makes people want to come to me. There are so many wonderful actors in the world, I’m always so curious why somebody would come to me…but you know, Scott really wanted me for this job. I was not sure why; so I went and met him, and you can tell pretty quickly that he’s a serious person. He thinks very deeply about things; he’s not a frivolous man. He has a real intelligence to everything he does.

But I liked the script. There’s a long history of genre movies with really terrific acting and a long history of genre movies with really bad acting. You have to be really careful. I just don’t want to be in a movie that doesn’t care about the acting. It was really obvious to me that Scott did really care about the acting. I was clear to me that he knew how to make a scary movie. I have no idea how to make a scary movie. I’ve never done it before. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to help him in that way, at all. He was great; he said that I didn’t need any help, that he just wanted somebody to make Ellison a real person and a recognizable human being. I thought I could do that and that Scott could make a scary movie.

Dread Central: What I thought was really interesting about the character of Ellison was that he’s a very relatable guy because he wants what’s best for his family, but in the same respect he still has this career that he keeps pushing them aside for. I really appreciated the fact that he was this flawed character because lot of times in horror movies the hero is perfect, and Ellison was just a guy that’s struggling to do the best for his career and his family who just gets mixed up in something bigger than he could have imagined.

Ethan Hawke: Exactly. Playing people who are perfect is a real bore. It really is. What I liked about Ellison was that he’s well-meaning in some ways, but in other ways he’s not. He’s horribly ambitious and claims to be doing it all for his family, but really he’s doing it for himself and his own ambition. I find those kinds of people much more interesting to play because, first of all, you don’t know what they’re going to do next because their motives are all over the place, and yet you have to try to give them some humanity so that audiences care about them regardless of their motives.

The character I played in Brooklyn’s Finest, his motives are all screwball, but he was so fun to play for that reason. Just because people do things for wrong reasons doesn’t make them a bad person, and trying to figure all that out is fun as an actor.

Dread Central: I’ve been following your career ever since Explorers considering that I’ve been a huge Dante fan my whole life. I know that was the first film you’ve done, and looking at how you started and where your career has led since then, you’ve made such interesting career choices. When you’re looking at projects, what is it that speaks to you as a performer? What is it that you’re looking for when you take on these different roles?

Ethan Hawke: I just like to be surrounded by as many talented people as I can. It helps make up for my own shortcomings, it helps me learn things, and it helps me to make good movies. I’ve thought a lot of Joe Dante while making this film. I remember I sat and watched The Howling with Joe Dante when I was 14 years old, and we watched Piranha. I feel like I’m one of the few people of my generation that has firsthand knowledge of Roger Corman and what those B-movies were about and how great they were because of working with Joe Dante.

You know, we’re in a funny moment like that again; where it’s almost like we’re going back to before (Martin) Scorsese and (John) Cassavetes changed the independent film scene. You know, the studios aren’t making dramas anymore; they’re not really interested in character-driven material. The only way to make a movie that’s going to get released and people are going to see is to do a genre movie so you have to work inside the genre milieu and try to do something awesome with it, and I think we really hit that mark with Sinister. What’s also really interesting is that when you think about it, that’s also what they were doing back in those Roger Corman movies, too, decades ago.

Related Story: Exclusive: Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill Get Sinister with Dread Central

Synopsis
Sinister is a frightening new thriller from the producer of the Paranormal Activity films and the writer-director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Ethan Hawke plays a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror.

Exclusive: Ethan Hawke Talks Sinister, Remembers Explorers and More

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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