Ethan Hawke on '20/20'

ByABC News
March 4, 2004, 2:53 PM

March 5, 2004 -- Ethan Hawke has spent a decade and a half in the movies as the onscreen innocent. But for the real actor, these are tough times.

This famously earnest actor earned an Oscar nomination for Training Day and is set to appear in the thriller Taking Lives alongside Angelina Jolie, although these days his personal life is what's grabbing the headlines.

"I'm 33 years old. While I'm sitting here my marriage is not working," Hawke told ABCNEWS. "Everybody knows it."

Last year, Hawke and his wife actress Uma Thurman split after eight years together. Their union produced a daughter and a son, and their breakup became a media sensation. "It's like this is our marriage and now there's all these other voices in the room,' said Hawke.

"You know you hate to have your grandfather read about it. You hate to that's what makes you feel ashamed you know," said Hawke.

Finale to a Red Carpet Romance

Hawke and Thurman became acquainted on the set of the sci-fi drama Gattaca, and fans proceeded to watch them with admiration as they wed and were then frequently photographed at high-profile events.

The fanfare turned to scathing headlines more recently when tabloids claimed that Hawke had an affair while shooting a film in Montreal.

"Uma and I did not split up over anybody's infidelity," said Hawke. "We had a lot of problems before I ever went to Montreal. "

Hawke believes he and the luminous star of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill were undone by the stresses of married life between two successful actors. "You know you'd come up with these rules: 'One person works, the other person doesn't. Well, then somebody's always out of town,'" said Hawke.