The cast of Ten Thousand Saints stopped by for a chat with Billboard at Sundance 2015 to discuss their new film’s coming-of-age story, who they’d play in musical biopics, and much more.
Saints — which stars Ethan Hawke, Emile Hirsch, Hailee Steinfeld, Avan Jogia and others — is set in New York’s Lower East Side in the 1980s and is a story that follows three screwed-up young people and their equally screwed-up parents in the age of CBGB’s, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Riots.
“It’s a really beautiful film about coming of age; not just for the kids in the movie, but the whole family. Everyone comes of age. The dog comes of age,” Hirsch said.
The conversation turned to which musical artists the actors could see themselves portraying in a biopic, during which Hawke mentioned he recently wrapped the film Born to Be Blue, where he plays legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker.
“That was a pretty intense experience,” Hawke recalled, adding that he learned as much trumpet as he could within a six-month span.
Hailee Steinfeld and Avan Jogia, meanwhile, revealed that they have some musical aspirations of their own. “I want to do music in tandem at some point,” Jogia said. Steinfeld added, “It’s still an interest of mine to pursue it.”
Hirsch, who’s been rumored to dabble in freestyle rapping, was then put on the spot to show off his skills, but politely declined. “You’re not gonna get me to do that now,” he said, laughing.
Hawke was also asked about his experience with Boyhood premiering at Sundance 2014 and later becoming a possible Oscar winner.
“Ask me in a couple years, I’ll have some perspective on it,” Hawke replied. “When you’re living it, it seems surreal. When [director Richard Linklater] approached me 12 years ago to say he wanted to make a movie over a decade and change, it seemed pretty far fetched. The positive is that everybody has a pipe dream … They so rarely work out and they’re so often ridiculed, every now and then when somebody’s pipe dream goes right, it kind of gives hope for everybody with a pipe dream.”