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Ethan Hawke explains “dancing with Marvel” before locking onto his villain in ‘Moon Knight’

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Marvel Studios

This coming Wednesday, Marvel Studios’ latest small-screen project, Moon Knight, debuts on Disney+.

The origin story of the Marvel Comics hero of the same name, the show stars Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, a meek museum gift shop worker plagued by blackouts and haunting visions of another life. However, his dissociative identity disorder has a very real cause — he shares his body with Marc Spector, an American Marine turned mercenar, who was gifted the power of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

On the other side of the coin is Ethan Hawke‘s cult leader Arthur Harrow, who is obsessed with leveling life-or-death judgement on humanity through the power of the Egyptian goddess Amit. 

Hawke tells Collider he’s a lifelong comic book fan, and “there had been a few dances in the past” with Marvel Studios for other roles but for various reasons, those didn’t work out.

“[T]his one just felt right,” he explained.

Hawke expressed, “I knew Oscar was biting off so much, it was a huge opportunity-slash-challenge for [him], and he really wanted me involved in it, and I felt like that boded well for us to have a good experience, because I really like his work.”

The Oscar nominated actor also said, “…I love all kinds of genre movies, and the more you study them…the villain makes the hero, in a way.” And that informed Hawke’s portrayal, which is at times seemingly sane compared to Isaac’s character.

“How do you present someone who is completely sane, but is malevolent?” Hawke asks.

He adds, “When you take someone who believes he’s spiritually enlightened…but [who] have a…sinister undercurrent, I find those characters creepy! Like Nurse Ratched in Cookoo’s Nest.”

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