The Treat: Ethan Hawke on Jez Butterworth’s play “Jerusalem”

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Acclaimed actor and director of HBO Max docuseries”The latest movie stars“Ethan Hawke first saw Jez Butterworth”Jerusalemat the Royal Court Theater in London in 2009. The theatrical production was hailed as one of the “ the biggest British coins of the 21st century”, and one of the 40 best games all time. A revival is currently underway at the Apollo Theater in London.

On stage, actor Mark Rylance plays Johnny “Rooster” Byron, an eccentric misfit who lives in a caravan in the woods of rural England and defies all societal conventions, supplying drugs, hosting drinking parties and telling stories. unlikely to a local youth group. people. The role won Rylance a Tony in 2011. After Hawke saw Rylance’s performance, he became “a huge fan”. Hawke explains why he compares it to seeing Jimi Hendrix perform.


When I saw Mark Rylance doing this production, you realize that he has dedicated his life to theatre, directing the Globe Theater for years, and it shows. You have felt this whole wheel of knowledge.

All of a sudden you knew you were on a different plane somehow, like they were just uplifting life. Life has improved, and the temperature, the wind have a different smell. It was a spiritual evening. It was like everything I had ever wanted from the church. If there’s some kind of magic in the air, it doesn’t matter where you are on stage.

I remember my father talking about [when] he saw Jimi Hendrix live. And you felt as it happened that you were part of history, that something was happening that you had never seen before, that no one had seen, that human creativity was evolving and changing.

Once in a while, I go see a movie, and I don’t know how they did it. It’s getting harder and harder for someone to put me on my ass like that, just because I’m so aware of all the devices and tricks in people’s toolboxes. The thing that [Bertolt] Brecht hated manipulation. He wanted you to know you were being manipulated. He didn’t want to lie to you. And there’s something about Mark Rylance being at his best, he’s alive! You are not eating a reheated dinner. It’s happening right now.

Left to right, Charlotte O’Leary (Tanya), Mark Rylance (Johnny), Mackenzie Crook (Ginger), Kemi Awoderu (Pea) and Ed Kear (Davey). Photo by Simon Annand.

You walk out of the theater feeling that all great art… is [to] makes you so happy to be alive. And you know you won’t be alive for long, and you just want to live, and this immense gratitude overwhelms you. If anyone gets a chance to see Mark Rylance in “Jerusalem,” I highly recommend it.

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