TIME movies

Ethan Hawke: ‘I’ve Been Accused of Being Pretentious My Whole Life, Rightfully So’

The actor-director talks to TIME about his new film Seymour — and reveals what he was thinking at the Oscars

Ethan Hawke, the actor recently nominated for an Oscar for Boyhood, is back in theaters—but this time he’s behind the camera.

The documentary Seymour: An Introduction is Hawke’s latest unexpected creative endeavor, after two novels and several stints onstage. The actor, who got his start as a teenager in Dead Poets Society, uses his new film to show the virtue of stepping out of the limelight. Seymour is Seymour Bernstein, Hawke’s friend and a celebrated concert pianist who left performing behind in order to teach. The film, in theaters March 13, depicts Bernstein’s memories of a long life well-lived, as well as the bond between Bernstein and Hawke; the actor confesses to Bernstein his career anxieties and struggles with stage fright.

Hawke is an open book. Asked how he responds to charges that his various less-than-commercial endeavors add up to James Franco-ish pretensions, the actor is forthcoming: “I’ve been accused of being pretentious my whole life, rightfully so.” As for whether or not he, like Bernstein, will eventually recede from public life? “I think there’s a healthy part of anyone who’s a professional actor that has a little Greta Garbo in them. You know, if you want it too bad, you have another set of problems.” For now, though, he’s never been more productive—or more successful.

Read next: 10 Questions With Ethan Hawke

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TIME Music

See How Far Taylor Swift Has Come Since 2009

The singer took questions from fans at the start of her first headlining tour

Back in 2009, Taylor Swift was already a star — hits like “Our Song” and “Love Story” had proved her power — but she wasn’t yet a global musical phenomenon. Rather, she was thoroughly country, just starting her first headlining tour and her fans had lots of unanswered questions.

That May, she sat down with TIME to answer some of them, dispensing advice for aspiring songwriters and dishing about the real-life inspirations for her songs (and, at one point, talking about how much she loves John Mayer, to whom she would later be romantically linked).

Watch that interview here.

Read TIME’s new cover story about the singer: The Power of Taylor Swift

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