The Purge (Universal Pictures)

Ethan Hawke stars in The Purge, a grisly thriller set in the crime cleansing world of 2020.¬† For 12 consecutive hours during one day of each calendar year, people are free to commit any crime under the sun without risking personal consequence. This “purge” eventually finds the doorstep of a rich man’s (Hawke) family, as their mansion is under attack by savages.

Hawke, who can also be seen in Before Midnight, is familiar with The Purge director James DeMonaco, as the actor starred in the 2005 feature  Assault on Precinct 13, which was penned by DeMonaco. Although he tends to gravitate to indie driven material like Before Midnight, Hawke told reporters he loves a good genre film like The Purge.

“Who wants to see a movie about gun violence in America and class,” says Hawke. “But if you set it in this terrifying, fun, roller coaster ride of a movie you can talk about whatever you want. That’s always been, from the ’50s, that’s been the game that genre movies play when they do it well.”

Click on the media bar to hear Ethan Hawke’s full answer on genre filmmaking (he mentions producer Jason Blum, who worked with the actor on both Sinister and The Purge, in the clip):

The Purge opens Friday.

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