Over the past several months, “Moon Knight” stars Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke have made no secret of the fact that their Disney+ series is not afraid to get weird. That was clear to fans from the get-go when the series finally premiered this week, and now that the cat is out of the bag about a shocking early scene, Ethan Hawke revealed to Variety that a memorable moment in the first episode was his idea.
[Editor’s note: Mild spoilers for the “Moon Knight” series premiere follow.]
When Hawke’s Dr. Arthur Harrow, the show’s villain, is first introduced, he smashes a glass with his cane before proceeding to put the shards of glass in his sandals. Hawke was eager to discuss the scene, saying it was his idea–although he noted that he used fake glass that instantly turned to sand because he didn’t want to “go full Daniel Day-Lewis and cut the bottom of my feet.”
Hawke wanted the scene to resemble a character’s introduction in a comic book. “When you read a comic book, some of the pages have eight drawings, some of them have 16, some have four, and then every now and then, they’ll give like the villain one full-page drawing,” Hawke said. “I kept asking the writers and directors, if it was a comic book, what would his full-page drawing be? And they were like, ‘what do you think it was?'”
Hawke then proceeded to dig into the character’s psyche. “I started really meditating on that, and I started thinking about spiritual people who go crazy, who get mad on their own spiritual pride, and how often that turns inward and you see that they’re secretly self-lacerating in some way and hating themselves,” he said. “Because we all have sin, and the idea that somebody is free of sin is not really possible if you’re human. And so with the self-hatred and the turning inward, I had this image of him listening to a hymn while he put broken glass in his shoes, that he hid from other people.”
Hawke went on to praise Marvel for allowing him the creative freedom to come up with and execute the scene. “So I told them this idea. And this is what I mean about what was so surprising about Marvel: They’re like, ‘let’s shoot that. That’s a great idea. Let’s open the show with that.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, well, I guess these guys do want to play.'”
The first episode of “Moon Knight” is now streaming on Disney+.