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Tragedy of Macbeth’s Corey Hawkins on Joel Coen and William Shakespeare

Hawkins also talks about getting to work with Denzel Washington and why William Shakespeare’s writing has stood the test of time

Corey Hawkins The Tragedy of Macbeth interview social

With writer-director Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth now playing in select theaters and streaming on Apple TV+, I recently got to speak with Corey Hawkins about playing Macduff in the William Shakespeare adaptation. During the interview, Hawkins talked about the privilege of getting to work with Denzel Washington and Coen, how he went to set on his off days to watch them work, why Shakespeare’s writing has stood the test of time, what it was like working with cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, and more. In addition, he talked about filming the climatic battle with Washington in the 3rd act, and what someone should watch first if they’ve never seen his work.


As Matt perfectly summarized in his glowing review for The Tragedy of Macbeth, the story follows Macbeth (Washington), a celebrated warrior and general in service of the King, Duncan (Brendan Gleeson). While returning to camp, Macbeth and his friend and fellow general Banquo (Bertie Carvel) come across three witches (Kathryn Hunter), who prophesize that Macbeth will become king, but that Banquo will be father to a line of kings. Macbeth relays this information to his wife (Frances McDormand), who schemes that Macbeth should murder Duncan when he comes to stay at their home and then ascend to the throne. Macbeth agrees and the prophecy is fulfilled, but in his quest to maintain power, he goes on a murderous rampage that eventually has him at war with his countrymen. The film also stars Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, and Harry Melling.

The producers are Coen, McDormand and Robert Graf. The film features casting by Ellen Chenoweth, music by Carter Burwell, costumes by Mary Zophres, editing by Lucian Johnston and Reginald Jaynes, and production design by Stefan Dechant.

The_Tragedy_of_Macbeth Corey Hawkins
Image via Apple TV+

Watch what Corey Hawkins had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. The Tragedy of Macbeth is now playing in select theaters and streaming on Apple TV+

Corey Hawkins

  • If someone has never seen anything he’s done, what is the first thing they should watch and why?
  • After getting cast in this and knowing he’d be working with Joel Coen and Denzel Washington, did he think about buying some lottery tickets?
  • What surprised him about working with Joel Coen?
  • How he went to set everyday just to watch.
  • What was it like getting to film the climactic fight scene with Denzel in the 3rd act of the film?
  • What was it like working with cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel and seeing the aesthetic he was going for?
  • What is it about William Shakespeare’s writing that has made it stand the test of time and had so many people want to adapt his works?

The_Tragedy_of_Macbeth_Photo denzel washington
Image via Apple TV+

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