I’m a writer at heart, but my favorite thing about my job is getting to ask important people nosy questions. After all, we’re all just people—even people who seem like they’re at the center of the world.
So as TIME celebrates our 100th year, I’m excited to share with you a new platform for our storytelling: our very first original podcast, Person of the Week. Each week, I’ll talk to someone—from the arts to politics to tech to business—who can help us understand the moment we’re all living in.
In our debut episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with the brilliant actor and director Ethan Hawke. We talked about his recent project, The Last Movie Stars, a six-part documentary series about the creative and romantic partnership of actors Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, and how Hollywood and fame have changed over the last seven decades. But it turned into a broader conversation about fame and love, and why different generations develop different creative mandates. We also talked about the rise of streaming platforms, what he’s learned from his decades in the movie business, and how he knows when it’s time to try something new.
Tune in every Thursday, and join us as we continue to explore the minds that shape our world. You can listen to the full episode in the player above, but here are a handful of excerpts from our conversation:
On how audience appetites shape each generation’s creative output:
We’re a part of a collective. The artistic community is in dialogue with their audience. What are we thinking about and how are we thinking about it, and what questions are we asking and what’s the depth of feeling and emotion? And if audiences are clamoring and paying to hear brilliant music, then brilliant music gets made. If people are clamoring to eat cheeseburgers, then cheeseburgers get made… Everything’s in dialogue with what came before. And you see, as you kind of study it, there’s these great movements that happen in a generation, in that whatever we do, we do together.
On how he’s experienced fame:
Nobody actually gets any satisfaction by being a household name. It’s the kind of thing you think of when you’re 18 and 19… these things that we think are going to make us happy, don’t. The pursuit of pleasure doesn’t make us happy. It’s the meeting of our responsibilities that creates pride in us and creates fulfillment.
On the advice he gives his daughter, Maya Hawke:
People are gonna tell you how to make money. People will tell you how to be a big shot. They’ll tell you how to play a certain angle, but they have no idea how you are developing inside cuz they are not in charge of that. You are.
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