The career of a filmmaker can be short and very unpredictable, so you would imagine that any director who was winning Oscars and making some of the best movies of all time would want to ride that wave for as long as possible. Not Peter Weir though, who quit Hollywood after making films such as The Truman Show, and now, Ethan Hawke says he knows why Weir decided to call it a day.
Weir hasn’t made a movie since 2010, and shows no signs of returning to the moviemaking game any time soon. The director will receive an honorary Oscar this year for his contributions to cinema, and in a recent interview with IndieWire, Ethan Hawke was able to shed some light on why he thinks his former director made the decision to step away from the bright lights of Hollywood.
Hawke worked with Weir on the drama movie Dead Poets Society, with the ‘80s movie effectively launching the career of a young Hawke at the time. Turns out, it’s actors who are to blame for Weir’s departure from the craft.
“I think he lost interest in movies. He really enjoyed that work when he didn’t have actors giving him a hard time,” Hawke explained. “Russell Crowe and Johnny Depp broke him.”
“He’s someone so rare these days, a popular artist. He makes mainstream movies that are artistic,” Hawke continued. “To have the budget to do The Truman Show or Master and Commander, you need a Jim Carrey or Russell Crowe. I think Harrison Ford and Gerard Depardieu were his sort of actors. They were director-friendly and didn’t see themselves as important.”
So basically, if actors were nicer to Peter Weir, then he might still be making films, is what Hawke is saying. Hawke was speaking as part of the promotion for his new TV series, a docuseries called The Last Movie Stars on the streaming service HBO Max.