Ethan Hawke will forever regret throwing the Independence Day script out the window and turning down a lead role in the blockbuster.
The Training Day star passed on director Roland Emmerich’s 1996 sci-fi movie while he was on a road trip from Texas to New York, admitting he thought the screenplay was garbage and the film would never be a hit in theatres.
“I’m driving cross-country with a friend of mine,” he recalled during an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late-night chat show. “I got the script to Independence Day, and there’s like dollar bills attached to it. And I’m reading it to my buddy in the car like, ‘Isn’t this a bad line? E.T. phone home… that’s stupid’. And I’m going through it (script) to the point where I literally throw it out onto the Texas highway.”
Will Smith took Ethan’s place as Captain Steven Hiller in Independence Day, which was a box office smash with worldwide earnings of over $817 million (£565 million).
And Ethan was in for a big surprise when he actually went to see the film in theatres with a group of friends, admitting he now regrets his decision to roadkill the script.
“Everyone wants to go see Independence Day and I’m like, ‘Alright, this’ll be amusing to see how bad it is!’” the 47 year old shared. “I walk into the theatre, it’s obviously sold out. Will Smith says, ‘E.T. phone home…,’ and the place roars. I mean they basically give a standing ovation in the movie. And I’m sitting there going, ‘Oh my God’. I really didn’t get the joke!”
© Cover Media