John Hawkes has made his career as a dependable character actor unafraid to take on complicated, rough characters. His latest film, “Small Town Crime,” is no exception. Hawkes stars as an alcoholic ex-cop who finds a woman’s body and embarks on a hunt to find her killer, putting his family in danger in the process.
Ahead of the film’s release on DIRECTV on December 21, revisit some of Hawkes’ best roles, from sweet romantic lead to creepy cult leader.
“The Perfect Storm” (2000)
Hawkes had been acting for more than a decade before his breakout turn in the George Clooney-led drama about the real-life events that claimed a commercial fishing vessel and its entire crew in a fateful hurricane off the coast of Massachusetts in 1991. Hawkes played Michael “Bugsy” Moran, a doomed, unlucky-in-love fisherman caught in the titular storm.
Another high-profile role saw Hawkes play Larry Washington, the manager of a motel where the guests—played by John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, and John C. Reilly, among others—begin to turn up dead.
Hawkes played real-life character Sol Star, co-owner of Star & Bullock Hardware, in David Milch’s swear-filled Western set in 1870s Deadwood, South Dakota. The series, which starred a sprawling ensemble cast, ran for three seasons. There’s still chatter of a reunion movie for the gone-too-soon series to this day.
“Me and You and Everyone We Know” (2005)
Miranda July cast Hawkes as her love interest in her directorial debut. Hawkes plays separated shoe salesman Richard, a dedicated father of two sons who falls for July’s eccentric artist.
“Eastbound & Down” (2009-2013)
Hawkes played Dustin Powers, the supportive older brother of Danny McBride’s foulmouthed former baseball star Kenny. Despite Kenny’s disruption, Dustin allows his brother to stay in his home to get back on his feet.
“Winter’s Bone” (2010)
As Teardrop, the scary-yet-protective meth-addicted uncle of Jennifer Lawrence’s Ree, Hawkes earned his first Oscar nomination.
“Martha Marcy May Marlene” (2011)
At first a kind-seeming religious leader, Hawkes’ Patrick turns out to be a violent, manipulative leader of a cult escaped by Elizabeth Olsen’s titular character.
“The Sessions” (2012)
The true story of a 38-year-old man who, due to complications from polio he contracted as a child, is confined to an iron lung and hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to lose his virginity earned Hawkes another slew of award nominations (including a Golden Globe and a SAG nod). Hawkes spent the entire movie lying down, most of the time on top of a foam ball he used to better portray his character’s discomfort.
“12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” (2015)
The third season of Amy Schumer’s Comedy Central show was filled with memorable skits, but the most unforgettable was a spot-on black-and-white parody of “12 Angry Men,” only in this case, the jury wasn’t deliberating a murder conviction—they were deciding if Amy Schumer is hot enough to be on television. Hawkes was joined by fellow jury members Paul Giamatti, Jeff Goldblum, and Vincent Kartheiser.
[Editors Note: This article is presented in partnership with DIRECTV’s “Small Town Crime”– exclusively on DIRECTV Cinema on December 21 and in theaters January 19]