Five and a half years ago I wrote about the character actor John Hawkes and how his talents had gone largely unknown to mainstream movie fans. His career has since blossomed more so but he is still a name you should know, therefore, I am reposting this piece.
It is not uncommon for an actor to experience success later in his career unlike he’s ever experienced. The hard part of dealing with the progress is maintaining the artistic integrity they have carried with them all along. The big Hollywood machine is easy to get wrapped up in. John Hawkes is a perfect example of one who has been able to maintain all of this while experiencing great success. He is indeed a master of his craft and acts for the love of the art and desire to expand his abilities.
John Hawkes grew up in rural Minnesota, far from any hotbed of acting and filmmaking. Undeterred he would eventually move to Austin, Texas to pursue acting and musical career. In 1985 Hawkes landed his first film role in the very forgettable Future-Kill. But then he was off and running.
Over the next 25 years, he would amass over 100 film and television credits. With various roles, he would eventually make a name for himself in the independent film world. With minor roles in bigger movies such as Congo and From Dusk Till Dawn, he was slowly starting to become a recognizable face. But it wouldn’t be until 15 years after his film career began that he would land the role that would have people recognizing his work in the big blockbuster hit, The Perfect Storm. His work ethic and dedication to the project would soon be his defining mark.
In 2004 he landed the role that would be one of the proudest projects on his resume. David Milch cast him in his new HBO series, the western drama, Deadwood. Starring as Sol Star, the Jewish business owner of the gold mining camp, he would show his real talents on every end of the spectrum.
Fresh off the conclusion of Deadwood he would take a critical role in Ridley Scott’s latest film, American Gangster. The chance to star with such Hollywood heavyweights such as Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington, Hawkes would show that he could more than hold his own.
Continuing to work very steadily, Hawkes landed his most significant role in the independent thriller, Winter’s Bone as the uncle of breakout star Jennifer Lawrence. Winter’s Bone would bring Lawrence and Hawkes Academy Award nominations and bring them to the fore of actors everyone needs to take notice.
Shortly after Winter’s Bone, Hawkes would star as deranged cult leader Patrick alongside another breakout star Elizabeth Olsen in the very chilling Martha Marcy May Marlene.
John Hawkes is poised to garner his second Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Mark O’Brien, the real-life story of a man in an iron lung who is determined to lose his virginity at the age of 36 with the help of professional sex surrogate.
Never being afraid to tackle any role no matter the subject matter or how odd it may seem on the surface, Hawkes will always lay his best on the screen and use his experience to better his ability. He is an actors actor who works for the love of the art and not for the perks that come with it. Well respected and much loved his respect among his peers Hawkes will always be one to give his best for the sake of the project and self.