Corey Hawkins is an actor that has shown a lot of range in the projects he selects.
His latest Apple Original film, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,“ features him alongside Hollywood heavyweights. Based on the timeless Shakespeare play, the A24 production stars Academy Award winners Denzel Washington in the title role as the infamous Scottish king Macbeth and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. Hawkins is featured as Macduff, Moses Ingram as Lady Macduff, and Kathryn Hunter as the witches.
The film tells the story of a Scottish lord who receives a prophecy, which sends him and his wife down a murderous path for power. As Macduff, Hawkins is a hero who believes in doing the right thing. The 400-year-old piece is known for its complex themes of ambition, jealousy, and regret. Hawkins shared what themes stand out to him.
“I think it’s that thing of fate, and what is chance and what is a choice. The paths that we choose, how much is that influenced by something bigger than us. Something greater than us. I play Macduff in this film. For me, he represents goodness, the morality in this play. He is sort of the anthesis to Denzel’s character, Macbeth. It’s beautiful to represent that goodness. It’s sometimes fun to play the villain, but it’s also nice to represent that other side and know goodness wins out at the end of the day. It’s thrilling to see and feel in a day and age where there is so much hurt, pain and destruction.”
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His character is an unlikely foil to Macbeth. In a scene from the film, Macduff explains why he can extend compassion to others. Hawkins reveals what the scene says about who Macduff is as a person.
“It just speaks to who he is as a man. As a human being and his soul. Because he’s such a good person because he looks up to and loves Macbeth. One of the great things that Joel Coen (writer/director) did by making them more mature allows Macduff to look up to him and want to emulate him, but when Macbeth takes that one thing from him, it starts a catastrophic situation. Although he’s a soldier, he’s human because he’s a man. And as a human, he has to feel it.”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” is available on Apple+ TV.