"I have a job to do which is to make sure we accomplish that goal” - Ethan Hawke opens up about his experience directing daughter Maya in 'Wildcat'

2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards  - Show
Ethan Hawke spoke about his experience of directing his daughter Maya Hawke (Image via Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Ethan Hawke recently opened up about the experience of directing his daughter Maya, who is currently busy with the filming of Stranger Things Season 5. She plays the lead role of Flannery O'Connor in her father's upcoming project, Wildcat.

In an interview with People magazine on April 27, 2024, Ethan referred to Maya's work in the Netflix series and said:

"I can be proud of her and geek out with so much joy when I watch Stranger Things. But when I'm directing her, I have a job to do which is to make sure we accomplish that goal."

Ethan stated that while audiences are eagerly waiting for the upcoming season of the highly successful Netflix show, she is not going to let any spoilers come out in front of the public. He further stated with a laugh:

"I nudge her for them and she won't give them up! She says, 'You've got a big mouth.' So nope, not even to dear old dad."

Ethan Hawke explains more about Wildcat and directing his daughter

Ethan Hawke's film Wildcat has his daughter Maya in an important role. The film is coming to the big screen on May 3, 2024, and in his latest conversation with People magazine, the actor praised Maya's talent.

He added that he did not want to damage anything by appreciating her more than the required limit and continued:

"We had so many amazing collaborators, and all these very serious artists that were there to try to make a serious work. They weren't there for it to be cute or for us to make a home movie."

Ethan Hawke also revealed that Wildcat was originally a concept put forward by Maya. He said that she was willing to create a film focusing on a "fiery young woman who's complicated." The Dead Poets Society star stated that Maya was ready to make a film related to the relationship of a young woman with her life and work.

"She was like, I see all these movies with Gene Hackman and Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman, and all these things you keep telling me are so great. I want to play a screwed up person too."

Ethan also said that he liked his daughter's idea which was taken from the work of writer Flannery O'Connor. Maya was in love with O'Connor's short stories when she was a high school student and they began discussing the idea of bringing the stories to the big screen.

Ethan then talked about his conversations with Maya about the movie and stated:

"Those were some of our secret midnight conversations, like, 'How could we make a movie about this?' Not just make a movie about Flannery O'Connor, but about the way in which she lived her life, and the intersection between creativity and imagination and how that intersects with faith and reality."

Ethan Hawke has previously talked about his daughter's work in another interview


Back in January last year, the Great Expectations star spoke about the hard work Maya Hawke had put in to bring Wildcat together over the years. In an interview with Variety, Ethan Hawke also said that he was grateful for the opportunity to introduce to a new generation of film viewers to Flannery O'Connor's genius. He said:

"Her work explores themes important to all artists – the intersection of creativity and faith, the blurred relationship between imagination and reality."

Wildcat premiered at the 50th Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2023. Apart from playing the lead, Maya even serves as an executive producer. It has a long lineup of cast members that include popular faces such as Rafael Casal and Phillip Ettinger.

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