Talk about commitment to your art. Ethan Hawke is throwing himself into his latest role -- as a 1990s rocker gone bad in the off-Broadway play Clive -- complete with a radical new hairstyle befitting a grunge-era musician in New York City.
Attending a Feb. 7 opening-night party for the play, which he both directs and stars in, the 42-year-old Before Midnight star was nearly unrecognizable from his former, handsome self. His normally dark, close-cropped hair was dyed white-blonde and gelled into a wild, spiky 'do.
"I don't know how to explain it exactly," he told the New York Times of the look, in a January interview about the play. "I didn't want to feel like me when I did this role."
He certainly doesn't look like himself. In fact, with the platinum 'do and black guyliner, he rather resembles rocker Billy Idol. But as he told the Times, he originally wanted to channel another famous Brit. "I'm trying to do that old-school, third-person thing by unlocking something as utterly superficial as my hair. I was shooting for a [David] Bowie thing," he explained, "but then I saw a picture of him after I did it, and he didn't really do his hair like this."
Clive is a modern adaptation of the 1918 play Baal, by Bertolt Brecht. It tells the story of a '90s rocker in NYC who seeks inspiration for his music through sex and drugs. Hawke, a married father of four -- he has two kids with wife Ryan Shawhughes and two kids with ex-wife Uma Thurman -- plays the title role.