This week, alongside their coverage of the "25 Most Scandalous Scandals From The Past 25 Years," aka "25 Things That Just Happened And Are Always The Subject Of Countdown Lists," Entertainment Weekly has a harrowing, brave profile titled "Ethan Hawke: Why the actor-writer-director wants to share his pain." (Alternate title: "Ethan Hawke: The-boy-in-the-plastic-bubble-but-more-sensitive directs movies, writes books, acts, and says "honest" a lot.")
This portrait of the artiste as an annoying 30-something-year-old man is harrowing because of quotes like, "I wanted to touch my own past…I needed to rebuild myself after my divorce." But it is brave because Entertainment Weekly dared to ask Ethan Hawke the question about Ethan Hawke that is on everyone's mind (when they think about Ethan Hawke): "Which CD, movie, and book thrill Ethan Hawke the most?" The result? Ethan's Essentials:
Turns out, Ethan is thrilled the most by the latest Wilco album ("Corny. But I love [Jeff Tweedy]."), and thrilled/panicked most by Warren Beatty's movie Reds ("…I'm nowhere close to doing something that good. How am I going to do it? Do I still hope I can? I don't know.") But he seems most thrilled by a little obscure epic novel called Anna Karenina:
If you haven't read this, stop what you're doing and read it. The greatest book ever written. It's what you want when you put on a new record, or go to church–it's what you want at 3am or 12 in the afternoon."
Thanks, Ethan! I'm definitely going to check out this guy, what's his name, Tolstoy?
Possible Future Ethan's Essentials (which should definitely become a recurring EW feature, if it isn't already):
Remembrance Of Things Past, Proust: "You need to read this right now, right this second, and for the rest of your life. So good. There's this part with a kind of French cookie…I won't ruin it, but it's everything you've ever wanted from memories or feelings. Thinking about things will never be the same for you."
Moby Dick, Herman Melville: "Wow. Just wow. I remember when I was 18 and I read this book, I thought I would write a book like this someday. But it's like I can't even touch it, you know? I mean, I came close with Ash Wednesday, but not close enough. Will I ever be good enough? Can I ever surpass Melville? I dunno."
The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne: "This book is better than the sound of your favorite Wilco album filling a warm cabin in the woods while snow gently falls outside, and you're inside getting in touch with your past. Seriously, it's that good. You'll want to read it at noon and at 12:45pm it's so good."
The Divine Comedy, Dante: "It's corny, but I love Dante."