Cable TCA Summer Press Tour: Ethan Hawke On Literature, Modern Perception & Moby Dick [Encore]

Ethan Hawke Starbuck Moby Dick

Ethan Hawke stars as Starbuck in Encore's "Moby Dick"

The Inside Reel’s Tim Wassberg caught up with Ethan Hawke to discuss his role as Starbuck in the upcoming Encore mini-series, “Moby Dick”. The series, based on Herman Melville’s classic novel, stars William Hurt as Captain Ahab. Tim asked Hawke to discuss his character as well as his relationship with Ahab through modern eyes. Hawke had this to say:

Starbuck is a person I found very interesting because it is often hard to play the good guy….the person who is morally just…because you kind of know what he is going to do. People with bizarre brain waves you never know how [they are going to function]. Bad guys are so fun to play because you never know what they are going to do. They could do a nice thing. They could do a cruel thing. What is fascinating about Starbuck, who is kind of the moral figure in the book, is that he really doesn’t do the right thing. It’s actually in his silence, in his inability to stop the inevitable. You ask questions about the book? Why is the book so great is that it is so open for interpretation. There is so many different things people can love about it. I might love one aspect of it that won’t even make it on somebody else’s radar while I might miss some bigger point. [That said] I loved trying to play this character who had a great respect for his leader but actually, when all is said and done, knew that he was the one person who truly knew they were off track….and he couldn’t act [on it]. There is a great chapter in the book where he thinks and knows that he should actually kill Ahab…but he’s not a killer. It’s interesting because it is his own innate goodness, so to speak, that prevents him from doing the just thing, which is what makes it so wonderful and complex from my point of view.”

“Moby Dick” premieres Monday, August 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Encore.