John Hawkes’ only wish is to remain anonymous. However, if he keeps racking up the Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, this goal might get more difficult to maintain.
Hawkes is currently starring in The Sessions, a role that earned him one of those Golden Globe nominations. But don’t expect to see him out and about doing interviews or courting the media anytime soon.
“If I can’t be invisible in a group of people and observe the behavior around me and translate that into the roles I play, I won’t be as good as an actor,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. “If somebody rents Winter’s Bone and doesn’t know who I am, that’s probably a satisfying experience for them. If I’ve done six talk shows that week and they rent it, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s the guy I saw on the talk show last night’ then it’s going to be a very different experience for them. It’s been a boon to be unknown because people are more apt to believe you, and that’s disappearing for me.”
Hawkes tries to stay off the radar by sticking with independent films with smaller budgets—you won’t be seeing him in a superhero movie or action flick anytime soon. The actor’s choices are conscious and don’t revolve around how much money he’ll take home from each project.
“I have a very understanding agent and manager and lawyer,” the 53-year-old said. “But they see the big picture, as I do, that a career is better built on projects that you believe in, as opposed to trying just to make money where you can. I don’t need much money. I’ve never owned a new car. I’ve only ever bought my mother a house. I don’t own one myself, I’ve always rented. I’ve never had an assistant. I have low overheads so that I can afford to do projects that don’t pay a lot. And I have the freedom that way to do what I like to do.”