Is Ethan Hawke’s Marvel Cinematic Universe bad guy Arthur Harrow all that he’s cracked up to be?
As the 4x Oscar nominated actor pointed out today at the Moon Knight press conference, the series is dealing with a protagonist, Oscar Isaac’s Steven Grant/Marc Spector who isn’t living necessarily in a present reality, specifically he suffers from a Dissociative Identity Disorder, ala what Mr. Robot‘s Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) was diagnosed with.
“(Director) Mohamed (Diab) was really embracing his mental illness to provide an unreliable narrator,” Hawke says about Isaac’s vigilante.
“Once you’ve broken the prism of reality, everything the audience is seeing is from a skewed point of view,” added the actor, “That’s really interesting for the villain: Am I really being seen as I am?”
“The histories of movies are paved with storytellers using mental illness as a building block for the villain,” said Hawke who plays a cult leader obsessed with power and the ability to open time portals (see the clip below).
“(There are) countless stories of mentally ill villains, and we have a mentally ill hero,” continued Hawke.
“That’s fascinating: we’ve now inverted the whole process, and now as the antagonist, I can’t be crazy because the hero is crazy,” the actor added, “so, I have to find a sane lunatic or a sane malevolent source, and that was an interesting riddle for me.”
Moon Knight follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered man who lives a mundane life, plagued by blackouts and mysterious memories of a life somehow separate from his own. After one fateful encounter, he discovers that he has Dissociative Identity Disorder and shares a body with Marc Spector—a former mercenary and the ruthless avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon and vengeance. Steven must learn how to work with his alter ego as a deadly battle is played out among the powerful gods of Egypt. Harrow is a guy who knows how to maneuver this cosmic war, and face off against Moon Knight and Khonshu. What the villain’s end goal is here? Well, you gotta see the show to find out what happens.
Moon Knight first appeared in the Marvel comics in “Werewolf by Night” #32 in 1975, and has since appeared in various comics over the last 47 years.
On what drew Isaac to the character of Moon Knight, “With Steven there was a chance to do a different type of comedy than what we’ve seen, of somebody who doesn’t know they’re funny. And to find a counterpoint of that with Marc, in some ways of leaning into the dark vigilante guy. What makes him so special is that he has a little Englishman living inside of him.”
Moon Knight drops on Disney+ on Wednesday, March 30.
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