Family Man Ethan Hawke Talks About Kid Actors Making Scary Movies!

Photo by Ray AmatiNBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Ray AmatiNBAE via Getty Images

A lot of parents have strict rules about what their kids can watch. We bet you’re constantly thinking, “Is this really appropriate for my [insert age of baby/toddler/adolescent here] kid?” And we all know that what kids want to watch isn’t always what’s best for them. They might come home from school talking about how awesome it is that Kyle’s mom let him watch American Pie at his last sleepover and then your eyes bulge in your head and you wonder why on earth a ten-year-old’s mom is letting him watch a movie designed for teenagers. Yep, we’ve all been there. [crowd photo by James DevaneyFilmMagic]

But what about horror movies? In most cases, we think it depends on the kid. Maybe your son or daughter is scared of a lot of things, like the dark, or the furnace in the basement, or the way wind makes funny noises at night. Well, there you have it — maybe scary moves aren’t the best thing for them. But maybe your kid names the furnace in your basement Mo and decides this fire-breathing machine is now his new best friend. Maybe he doesn’t need a night light because then he can see the stars more clearly outside his window. And maybe the sound of the wind lulls him to sleep. If that’s the case, then maybe your child can handle the occasional scary movie.

Unconvinced? Well, that’s okay. Who are we to tell you that scary movies are okay for kids? What if we told you that a celebrity has something to say on the matter? Two days ago, Ethan Hawke took to Reddit to discuss his upcoming movie, The Purge, which revolves around a whole heck of a lot of crime. And while we weren’t sure whether or not the online interview would be related to moms in any way, Ethan Hawke and the lovely world of Reddit proved us — delightfully — wrong. One viewer asked Ethan about working with kids on the set of scary movie, wondering how the dark stuff doesn’t get to the smaller actors. Ethan’s response made a lot of sense to us, so we wanted to share it with you. Keep in mind that this isn’t just coming from a successful Hollywood actor. Ethan’s the father of four children — Maya, Levon, Clementine, and Indiana — so he definitely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to kids. Check out what he had to say!

As a child actor myself, I’m incredibly sensitive to this and kind of hate acting with kids for all the same concerns that are present in your question. But with a scary movie, it surprised me, because kids love to play. They love costumes, they love Halloween. The kids on-set treated the making of the movie as if we were all doing an elaborate haunted house; think about it, kids love to play Hide & Seek, they love to scare you and each other, and I was really relieved to see them all playing and laughing and understanding the spirit of a good ghost story. It really wasn’t difficult for them at all.

If you want to read the rest of the question-and-answer session with Ethan Hawke, click here. We promise you won’t be disappointed — he seems like a great guy.