John Hawkes (born September 11, 1959 in Alexandria, Minnesota) is an American actor and musician, best known for years for his role as the Jewish merchant Sol Star in Deadwood, before making a big break with his performance as the sinster Teardrop in Winter's Bone, which has led to him gaining a robust career as a character actor, mostly in indie movies, but also in Hollywood productions and TV.
He's most often cast as backwoods, redneck types, though he's played other roles, too, often in the indie pictures that have made him something of a staple at the Sundance Film Festival.
His Notable Roles:
- From Dusk Till Dawn - Pete Bottoms
- The Perfect Storm - Mike "Bugsy" Moran
- Me And You And Everyone We Know - Richard Swersey
- Deadwood - Sol Star
- American Gangster - Freddie Spearman
- Lost - Lennon
- Winter's Bone - Teardrop
- Eastbound & Down - Dustin Powers
- Martha Marcy May Marlene - Patrick
- Contagion (2011) - Roger
- The Sessions - Mark O'Brien
- Lincoln - Robert Latham
- Everest - Doug Hansen
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Charlie Hayes
- The Peanut Butter Falcon: Duncan
This actor provides examples of:
- Award Snub: His failure to get a Best Actor nomination for The Sessions is generally seen as this.
- The Cast Showoff: He contributed a song to the Winter's Bone soundtrack and also sang a cover of "Marcy's Song" in Martha Marcy May Marlene.
- Celebrity Resemblance: To Harry Dean Stanton.
- Chronically Killed Actor: He once had to say that he doesn't die in every movie he appears in
- Doing It for the Art: After his Oscar-nominated breakout performance in Winter's Bone, he looked through all the scripts he'd been offered and decided to pick the two movies with the lowest budgets. Those became Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Sessions. As he puts it, he has a "very understanding agent".
- Also, he took a small role in Lincoln simply to support the screenplay, which he said was the best Hollywood script he'd read in years.
- Name's the Same: Shares a name with a Postmodern novelist who wrote in the latter half of the twentieth century.
- Older than They Look: He usually looks a few years younger than his actual age. During Deadwood, he was about a decade older than both Timothy Olyphant and Paula Malcolmson but didn't look noticeably older. Similarly, he was close to sixty when he made Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri but looked closer to mid or late forties.
- Playing Against Type: In The Sessions, he plays a paraplegic poet, a far cry from the grizzled backwoods types he's best known for. Also notable in that it is one of the few lead roles he's ever played.
- What Might Have Been: He was offered the role of The Governor on The Walking Dead, but turned it down due to misgivings about playing a role on broadcast TV.