Since the 1980s, few filmmakers have had such a acclaimed filmography as Peter Weir. We’re talking about movies like “Dead Poets Society,” “Green card,” “Witness,” “The Truman Show,” and more. In total, the filmmaker has earned six Academy Award nominations, including four for Best Director. (He’s receiving an honorary Oscar in 2023.) But Weir hasn’t been behind the camera in more than a decade. . And Ethan Hawke think you know why.
Speaking to IndieWire, while promoting his new docuseries, “The latest movie stars“Ethan Hawke explained why Peter Weir walked away from Hollywood after the release of his 2010 film, “The way back.” Apparently, Weir grew tired of acting after a few terrible experiences with big, high-profile actors.
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“I think he’s lost interest in movies,” explained Hawke, who worked with Weir on “Dead Poets Society.” “He really enjoyed this job when he didn’t have actors giving him a hard time. Russell Crowe and Johnny Depp the breeze. He’s such a rare person these days, a popular artist. He makes mainstream movies that are artistic. To have the budget to do “The Truman Show” or “Master and Commander”, you need a jim carrey or Russell Crowe. I think Harrison Ford and Gérard Depardieu were his kind of actors. They were pro-directors and didn’t see themselves as important.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Weir realized “Master and Commander: The Other Side of the Worldwhich stars Russell Crowe in the lead role. There are plenty of reports of a bit of behind-the-scenes drama, but the film would go on to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars. However, it was seven years between the release of that film and Weir’s final feature, “The Way Back,” which might lend credence to what Hawke was saying.
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You see, between directing “Master and Commander” and “The Way Back,” Weir was attached to direct”Shantaramwith Johnny Depp. However, after developing this film for some time, Weir left due to creative differences. Again, this aligns with Hawke’s claim that Depp may have been partly responsible for leaving of the filmmaker.
All this to say that if Weir has “lost interest” in making movies, then he better step down and not reluctantly continue. That said, it’s such a shame if experiences with the likes of Crowe and Depp are to blame for the filmmaker losing his passion for filmmaking.