Celebrity News

Oscar Nominee Trivia File: John Hawkes

John Hawkes is a versatile character actor and Sundance darling with an illustrious career spanning over 20 years, but he is just now getting the attention he deserves with an Academy award nomination for 2011 Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Winter's Bone," nominated for Best Picture.

Get to know John Hawkes!

John Hawkes Oscar Nominee Trivia File

His Early Years

John Hawkes, born John Marvin Perkins, was born in Alexandria, Minnesota to Pete and Patricia Perkins. He graduated from Jefferson High School and then went to St. Cloud State University for a short time (taking acting classes) before moving to Austin, Texas.

He Caught the Bug

As a sophomore in high school he saw a performance of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" at The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and discovered that acting was what he really wanted to do with his life, according to Yahoo Movies.

Musically Inclined

In Austin, John was a member of the band Meat Joy, with singer-songwriter Gretchen Phillips. He also was part of the musical group King Straggler with fellow actors Rodney Eastman and Brent Gore.

Making It Happen

While waiting for acting job opportunities in Austin, Hawkes worked as a waiter and a carpenter. With several of his other out-of-work actor friends, he help form Big State Productions, a theater group that wound up being a critical success, affording the opportunity to perform a show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


John's first movie credit was in director Ronald W. Moore's 1985 low-budget comedy science fiction-horror film, "Future-Kill." He continued to nab small roles in movies shot in Austin.

Headed for Hollywood

In 1990 Hawkes moved to Los Angeles where he landed a number of guest-starring roles in television shows ("Nurses," "Civil Wars," "Wings"), movies of the week, and in films "Scary Movie" and "Flesh and Bone."

Getting Noticed

As part of the crew of the Andrea Gail, Hawkes played Mike "Bugsy" Moran in "The Perfect Storm," alongside George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly.

A Simple Man

Yes, he has a cell phone, but John has never had an email account — which means no Twitter or Facebook either.
"I'm not online; I don't have e-mail. The only thing I've ever done online is play poker," says Hawkes in an interview with Pioneer Press, adding, "I do have running water and heat, though. I don't mean to brag."


Hawkes starred in the HBO series "Deadwood," playing Sol Star, merchant and best friend to Sheriff Seth Bullock.

Eastbound & Down

Appearing in 8 episodes in HBO's comedy "Eastbound & Down," John played Dustin Powers, the brother of a burned-out major league ballplayer who returns home to teach Physical Ed.

'Me and You and Everyone We Know

John starred in "Me and You and Everyone We Know," a 2005 indie hit which was written and directed by Miranda July. He was awarded a Chlotrudis Award for Best Cast, a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Camera d'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

American Gangster

Hawkes was part of a powerful cast, including Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Josh Brolin, which was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.


John played "Lennon," a long-haired translator and go-between for the Japanese-speaking Dogen, in the final season of "Lost."

A Charmed Role

For his critically-acclaimed role as Teardrop in "Winter's Bone," Hawkes is nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, among nominees Christian Bale ("The Fighter"), Geoffrey Rush ("The King's Speech"), Jeremy Renner ("The Town"), and Mark Ruffalo ("The Kids Are All Right").
"Awards are funny anyway, to try to compete in art seems odd, but we have to have some way of rewarding the things we like the most," John said in an interview with Kevin major.
Watch John discussing his role in "Winter's Bone" on KTLA.

Next Up

Hawkes attended the 2011 Sundance Film Festival promoting two movies, "High Ground" with Vera Farmiga and "Martha Marcy May Marlene," staring newcomer Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley.
Also look for Hawkes in FX's "Outlaw Country" and the action thriller "Contagion" with Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard and Kate Winslet.