Life after Uma: Ethan Hawke opens up about heartbreaking
Rebecca Loui / New York Daily News
NEW YORK - Ethan Hawke is taking a talking cure. Last fall,
rumors flew that the actor cheated on wife Uma Thurman with a
twentysomething model in Montreal while filming the thriller
"Taking Lives," which is now in theaters.
Since then, he has lost his marriage, privacy and 15 pounds
due to stress.
"The nice thing about being married for five years is
that Uma and I dropped off the tabloid radar," he says.
"I always knew that the way we would get back on it
would be if something bad happened."
But while many public figures choose to keep mum when their
marriages go south, Hawke has been making media rounds to
talk about the bust-up.
"We'll probably get a divorce," he has told
reporters freely. The couple has two children, Maya, 5, and
In a recent interview on ABC's "20/20," he
pleaded that it was "difficult for any couple who are
married if both people are very ambitious.
"In a marriage, somebody's gotta ride shotgun. If
both people want to drive ... eventually you might have to
say, 'You know what? We gotta take two cars.'"
Hawke says his talking about the breakup is a strategy to
help him heal and move on.
But now the 33-year-old actor - who's prone to knitted
brows and lengthy, complex responses to queries - insists
he's done spilling dirt on the split.
"I tried being as honest as I could ... I just
sincerely feel like moving on."
Sitting cross-legged on a desk in a midtown hotel suite,
Hawke blows smoke from American Spirits out a balcony door.
"If you have to read about yourself in the paper all
the time and have it be primarily negative, you have a desire
to bring the conversation back to some equilibrium," he
"Silence is often a very powerful tool so I used that
for a while.
"But I haven't known whether to avoid the questions
or answer them."
Thurman, star of the "Kill Bill" movies, has
already been romantically linked to hotelier Andre Balazs.
But Hawke, who met and pursued Thurman on the set of the
1997 sci-fi flick "Gattaca," says love isn't on
his short-term schedule. He says he's spending as much
time as possible with his children before going to Toronto
next month to begin work on the action movie "Assault on
"All I care about right now is raising my kids
right," he says. "I'm not worrying about
"I hang with my kids and play the guitar and go to the
Knicks game. Those are the kinds of things I do to
Hawke has written two novels, "Ash Wednesday"
(2002) and "The Hottest State" (1996). He says
writing fiction relieves stress, too, but his kids come
In "Taking Lives," which co-stars Angelina Jolie,
he plays a witness to a serial killer's crime.
"I studied some serial killers for this part and what
is amazing to me is their belief in their own
innocence," says Hawke, who got an Oscar nomination for
his performance in the 2001 cop drama "Training
"They still feel they're a good person. It's
kind of frightening, because we all go through life like,
'I'm a good person.' But a lot of wrong is done
and it's done by people who believe that."
He'll be back on the big screen in June with
"Before Sunset," Richard Linklater's sequel to
1995's train romance "Before Sunrise" that
reunites Hawke with Julie Delpy.
Both actors share writing credit with Linklater for the
followup, which - perhaps not coincidentally - features
Hawke's character struggling with a marriage that changed
after having a child.
© 2004, New York Daily News.
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