Cowboys & Indians

Ethan Hawke

Cowboys & Indians: In your movie Blaze, you focus on the late Blaze Foley, a relatively obscure yet enduringly influential Texas country music singer-songwriter. What made you want to direct a movie about this particular artist?

When I was young, after I started getting cast in movies, my stepfather got a new motorcycle and went to Nashville, because he’d always dreamed of being a songwriter. But he never made it. And he struggled very much with depression. And whenever success came to me, and getting paid lots of money to act. So that informed me. And when I heard the story of Blaze Foley, I thought about my own perceived success, and how it juxtaposed with so many artists who are met with indifference and hostility because of the luck of some weird dice. Maybe it was a reflection or a residue of guilt. That’s the negative way of looking at it. But I prefer to think of as an expression of love and wondering and respect for all the people who I’ve seen who didn’t have the easy path that created for me.

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