Ethan Hawke Is ‘Born To Be’ Chet Baker

With guest host Ray Suarez.

Actor Ethan Hawke as jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in “Born to Be Blue.”

Ethan Hawke plays famed jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in the new biopic film, "Born To Be Blue." (Courtesy IFC)

Ethan Hawke plays famed jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in the new biopic film, “Born To Be Blue.” (Courtesy IFC)

Trumpeter, singer, one of the pioneers of a California sound in Jazz from the 50s to the 80s — Chet Baker used drugs, dropped in and out of music, and died young. He’s the subject of a new movie, “Born to Be Blue,” starring Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke as Baker. We’ll talk about movies, music, about bringing a long dead artist, to life. This hour, On Point, Ethan Hawke, “Born to Be Blue.”

— Ray Suarez


Ethan Hawke, actor, writer and director. He plays Chet Baker in the new film, “Born To Be Blue.” Also known for “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset,” “Before Midnight” and “Boyhood,” among many others. Author of “Rules for a Knight,” “Ash Wednesday” and “The Hottest State.”

Joe Hunt, jazz drummer, educator, author and historian. His group is the Joe Hunt Quartet. Former Berklee School of Music and New England Conservatory professor and ensemble teacher. Performed with Chet Baker. Author of “52nd Street Beat.”

From The Reading List

USA Today: Ethan Hawke was ‘Born’ to play jazz icon Chet Baker — “When Hawke received director Robert Budreau’s Blue script, he was drawn to its unusual structure and mostly fictional take on the famed trumpeter. In the first scene of the film, Baker is shown playing himself in a movie-within-a-movie (inspired by a project that producer Dino De Laurentiis had approached him about in real life, although it never came to fruition). Off set, he strikes up a relationship with Jane (Ejogo), who is a composite of several women in Baker’s life and helps him recover from a brutal attack that leaves him unable to play his instrument.”

New York Times: At SXSW, Ethan Hawke and His 5 Favorite Jazz Recordings — “‘I think that there’s this iconography of Chet Baker that personifies cool,’ Mr. Hawke said in an interview here during the South by Southwest film festival this month. ‘And what I see under it is insecurity. I wanted to get at that.'”

Variety: Film Review: ‘Born to Be Blue’ — “In a cinematic landscape awash with hairsplittingly literal musical biopics, it comes as a pleasant surprise to discover that Robert Budreau’s Chet Baker film, ‘Born to Be Blue,’ is not a Chet Baker biopic at all. It is, instead, a film about a character who happens to share a name and a significant number of biographical similarities with Chet Baker, taking the legendary West Coast jazz musician’s life as though it were merely a chord chart from which to launch an improvised set of new melodies.”

Watch A Trailer OF “Born To Be Blue”


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