Ethan Hawke portrays Chet Baker in 'Born to Be Blue'

Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:36am EDT
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LOS ANGELES - Actor Ethan Hawke takes on the role of famed jazz musician Chet Baker in "Born to be Blue", one of several music biopics released this year.

Written and directed by Robert Budreau, the film tells Baker's story, who in the 1950s was one of the world’s most well-known  trumpeters, but who also became known for his drug addiction. According to the film's synopsis "Born to Be Blue" reimagines the musician's life in the late 1960s as he seeks to make a comeback.

"There is kind of a simplicity in the way Chet plays that is disarming," Hawke said at the movie's premiere in Los Angeles on Monday.

"My respect for it really grew as I studied, kind of went down the rabbit hole studying his influences .... There was such an unbelievable simplicity to him that the more you get into it the harder you realize it is to do."

"Born to Be Blue" is one of several upcoming music biopics, which include Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in "Miles Ahead" and Hank Williams film "I saw the Light".

"They were always popular," Hawke said, when asked about the current film interest in musicians.

"I learned about music through movies ... I think people love music and music is really close to our hearts and when you can get behind it ... behind what you love, there's something interesting. Movies can do that."