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James Stewart, as George Bailey, hugs Karolyn Grimes, who plays his daughter Zuzu, in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. (Getty Images)

The Movie John Hawkes Has 'Seen A Million Times'

by Lily Percy
Dec 21, 2012 (All Things Considered)

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The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor John Hawkes, whose credits include Deadwood, Me And You And Everyone We Know, Winter's Bone and The Sessions, currently in theaters, the movie he could watch a million times is Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life.


Interview Highlights

On when he saw the film for the first time

"I saw It's A Wonderful Life the first time when I was on the road doing a play. It was a two-man show and my cast mate Brent Briscoe kept saying, 'You've got to see It's A Wonderful Life.' It happened to come on television and he called me and I went to his hotel room and we sat and watched it, and I was pretty blown away and I've introduced many people to it since."

On why he loves It's A Wonderful Life

"I think the film is often viewed by those who haven't seen it or only seen it once as some sort of perfect little fairy tale, but it is a dark piece and it blends drama and humor in such a delightful way."

On how the movie influenced him

"Jimmy Stewart is such a wonderful actor for anyone to observe. He's got such a wide range in that film and he's not afraid of the darkness. He doesn't care about, obviously, looking good at all times or being a movie star the whole time he's on screen. He's a very human character. Jimmy Stewart's performance is so brave it reminded me early on before I'd ever been in films that if I ever had a chance to go as deep as I could as an actor into a role, to try to disappear into it and to not be afraid of the result."

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