Ethan Hawke Talks Daughter Maya's Thriving Acting Career: 'It's Shocking'

Maya Hawke and Ethan Hawke in January 2019
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Ethan Hawke couldn't be prouder of his daughter, Maya's, already successful acting career.

Ethan Hawke couldn't be prouder of his daughter, Maya's, already successful acting career.

The 49-year-old actor participated in a panel at the winter Television Critics Association press tour on Monday about his upcoming Showtime series, The Good Lord Bird, and afterward, talked about his 21-year-old daughter to a handful of reporters, including ET. Maya -- whom Hawke shares with his ex-wife, Uma Thurman -- had a huge summer this past year thanks to her scene-stealing role as Robin Buckley in season three of Netflix's Stranger Things, and landing a role as a member of the Manson Family in Quentin Tarantino's star-studded Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

"It's one of the great honors of my life," Hawke said about his daughter thriving in her chosen path. "It's shocking. I knew when she was a kid that she was -- I felt that she was an artist really young and I have a feeling that she's... she's a substantive human being. And it keeps my life interesting and exciting to try to be the person that she wants me to be."

Hawke shared that even though he's a veteran actor, he's definitely still learning from his children. Aside from Maya, he shares his 17-year-old son, Levon, with Thurman, and has two daughters -- 12-year-old Clementine 9-year-old Indiana -- with his current wife, Ryan Shawhughes.

"Kids think so highly of their parents and sometimes they think more highly of us than we think of ourselves," he said. "I didn't realize that part of the value in mentoring people is that they teach you. And I learned a lot from our kids."

Hawke also reflected on how the business has and hasn't changed since the time he was coming up in Hollywood.

"It's still a boys' club as reflected through the quality of pay and the people who are actually in charge," he noted. "There's a lot of work to be done but [Maya's] in a great place and her generation is poised to make a great push forward. Nobody was asking that question in 1991."

Hawke stars as 19th-century abolitionist John Brown in The Good Lord Bird, which is based on the novel of the same title by author James McBride. The Good Lord Bird is told from the point of view of Onion, a teenage slave who becomes a member of Brown’s motley family during the time of Bleeding Kansas, eventually participating in the famous 1859 raid on the Army depot at Harpers Ferry. Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but was the instigating event that started the Civil War. Hawke is co-writing and executive producing the series with award-winning author and producer Mark Richard, which premieres on Feb. 16 on Showtime.

Meanwhile, Hawke has made no secret that he's a proud parent when it comes to Maya. Back in May 2018, Hawke talked with ET about Maya ahead of her Stranger Things debut.

"She's been preparing her whole life to be an artist," he said. "I'm not surprised. I've thought that she was extremely talented since she was six, and it's fun to see the world through her eyes, and see my own profession through somebody who's just starting."

"She's an extremely sincere, passionate, young woman and she's at the beginning of her life," he added. "It's pretty thrilling."

ET spoke with Maya last July at the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiere in Los Angeles, where she talked about the significance of working with Tarantino, given that her mother starred in his now-classic films, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.

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-- Reporting by Philiana Ng