47-year-old actor Ethan Hawke has had quite the career thus far, best known for his dramatic acting in the Before Sunrise films, Training Day (alongside Denzel Washington) and the one-of-a-kind 12-year project Boyhood. However, Hawke has recently revealed one regret he made early on in his career when he was riding high with the success of his breakout hit Reality Bites in 1994. While on a cross-country road trip with his friend, he had the Independence Day script in hand and simply tossed it away. Here's what happened, according to the actor:
I'm reading [the script] to my buddy in the car. I'm like, 'Isn't this a bad line. "E.T. phone home." That's stupid.' You know what I mean? And I'm going through it to the point where I literally throw it out onto the Texas highway.
You read that right, Ethan Hawke thought the Independence Day script was so bad that he threw it out the window and onto the road to be run over by another car or found by one lucky hitchhiker. However, as he recalled later during an interview on Conan, despite his initial feelings about the script, Independence Day was a huge blockbuster hit. In fact, it was the highest grossing movie of 1996, as it made $300 million domestically at the box office. Hawke's decision bit him in the butt when his girlfriend at the time and their friends wanted to see a movie and decided upon the blockbuster hit. He for sure thought the film would be bad, especially with that E.T. line, but the theater was packed and the crowded roared at Will Smith's utterance of the line, causing Hawke to slump in his seat.
Now a '90s action classic, Independence Day proved to be a great decision for Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, who are still remembered for their roles in the film. Additionally, writer and director Roland Emmerich became a big-budget spectacle filmmaker as a result of the highly successful release, paving the way for releases such as The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. While Ethan Hawke was unclear as to who he was asked to play, considering his mention of Will Smith's big line, he might have been in the running for Captain Steven Hiller. The film was a pivotal role for Smith who became a witty action star still with continuing franchises like Suicide Squad, Bad Boys and Netflix's Bright.
However, Ethan Hawke has found a successful place in the dramatic acting sphere, and honestly, we wouldn't have wanted to see anyone but Will Smith deliver the lines in Independence Day. The confession does make a hilarious story and possible cautionary tale to not discount the power of E.T. Fighting aliens aren't for everyone!