Shorly before Ethan, 47, split with Uma, 48, in 2003, the actor received an Oscar nomination for his role in Training Day. Though the moment should have been pivotal for his career, Ethan recalled things going much differently because of his broken marriage.
“In a lot of ways, it could have been the beginning of something. It was the best moment of my career. Like, maybe, maybe, you could be commercially viable. But I got divorced and my personal life fell apart,” Ethan told GQ in a new interview.
“I don’t know if you feel this way, but when you’re depressed, it’s really easy to see everything that is fake about other people and life, and I just started seeing all that,” he continued. “How phony celebrity was, how phony everything is. You channel your inner Holden Caulﬁeld, you know?”
The father-of-four then said filming the 2004 drama Before Sunset during his split from Uma ultimately helped him heal. “That was the height of my marriage falling apart. And getting to spend that summer with Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater, reconnecting with a part of myself that was more… what’s the right word? Idealized. A cleaner self. That was a great summer. And it really helped me put myself back together,” he shared.
Ethan also said he’s grateful for his two children — daughter Maya Thurman-Hawke, 20, and son Levon Thurman-Hawke, 16 — with Uma for helping him through that tough time. “Work. Theater. My kids. That’s the wonderful thing about children is they just need you every day. It gives your life balance. Meaning your whole life isn’t just about yourself,” he said.