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None of them were artists, but they loved books and movies and music.
I grew up with people who believed that at its best art was a religious-like calling.
But no one in the restaurant appears to recognise him – and this, I suspect, is how he likes it.
In his plaid shirt and with a light sprouting of facial hair, he looks just like the kind of literary tourist you see in the legendary bookshop, Shakespeare and Co, which is where some of Before Sunset was shot.
Brooklyn’s Finest, directed by the not-entirely-inaptly-named Antoine Fuqua, is one of the bleakest, bloodiest films I’ve ever seen.
The body count is way up in the Black Death league and at the screening I went to, even the projectionist looked as if he could use a drink afterwards.
I wondered if Hawke had had any qualms about appearing in a film that’s so violent, and doesn’t offer its audience any glimmer of redemption? 'I do know that I take a certain pride in making a movie that doesn’t show people being shot or beaten up.
He stares at his pint of lager for some time before answering. But you know, it’s easy to get people’s attention with t--- and guns.
Once, back in 1995, he auditioned for the leading role in Titanic.The fault, it turns out, is entirely mine: messages have been sent postponing the interview that for some reason have failed to arrive.Hawke, however, behaves as if he’s the one who’s in the wrong: he’s apologetic, gracious, eager to make amends.I turn up in the restaurant in Paris where we have arranged to meet.It’s a far from glamorous sort of place, a throwback to Fifties bohemia with faded posters on the walls, chequered tablecloths and a balding, ponytailed patron who beats the coffee grounds out of his espresso machine as if he’s settling a long-standing grudge.
Time ticks by, and as it does, my thoughts about Hawke take on a steadily darker hue.