Maya Hawke: The Mini Uma Thurman, Her Life, Parents, Songs and Career


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Netflix‘s Stranger Things opened up fans towards the discovery of Maya Hawke. She played Robin Buckley, the Scoops Ahoy scooper who worked with Steve Harrington (Joe Keerey) and went along on the adventure, in the series’ third season. The daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke made her acting debut as Jo March in the 2017 BBC adaptation of Little Women. In addition to acting, this young star has an even crazy family background and has also modelled for Calvin Klein and All Saints as well as editorial shoots for Vogue. 

The Personal Life and Career of Maya Hawke:

What movies was Maya Hawke in?

Maya Hawke has appeared in Ladyworld (2018), Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and Human Capital (2019). Did you know? Maya was the first choice for Sofia Coppola’s The Little Mermaid but the role ultimately went to Chloe Grace Moretz. Sofia would go on to drop out of the project, and later, so did Chloe Grace Moretz. The project didn’t move forward. Hawke’s upcoming movies include Mainstream with Andrew Garfield.

Maya Hawke: Stranger Things

Stranger Things helped Maya Hawke to reach another level of success when she played Robin Buckley, the Scoops Ahoy scooper who worked with Steve Harrington (Joe Keerey) and went along on the adventure. At some point in the season, she ends up in the middle of all the drama with Dustin and Lucas’ little sister Erica.

The character immediately resonated with fans as she popped up as an investigator slash co-worker. The mystery of her complexity is an addictive feature for fans. Along with natural friendship with her fellow ice cream slinger, Maya delivered the perfect mix of sassy cool girl attitude paired with a profoundly moving character arc.

Maya Hawke says the reception from fans took her by surprise. “There’s such a risk in joining a show that already has so many beloved characters,” she tells TIME. “I didn’t know people were going to embrace Robin.”

Maya Hawke: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

After her scene-stealing turn as Robin in the third season of Stranger Things, she made waves as one of the Manson girls in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

She recently spoke with W about what it was like working with the controversial filmmaker, who famously directed her mother in Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill series. 

“It’s an incredible experience to be directed by someone who loves making movies as much as he does,” she said. “The difference between Quentin and everyone else is that if he wasn’t a big time director he’d be working at the local video store. He’s a film addict. And that love is contagious and full-body and liberating.”

Maya Hawke and Uma Thurman

Most people who know Maya’s family background were not only shocked to see the Uma Thurman look alike on Stranger Things 3, but were shocked to hear her too. The young actress sounds exactly like her mother. 

“I know, it’s crazy,” says the actress of their vocal similarities. “People always write and talk about how we look alike, and we don’t really look that much alike, but we do sound a lot alike. It does happen all the time.”

Maya Hawke’s earliest memories were shared as she spoke of her stories from various movie sets, including when the family moved to China for six months while Thurman filmed Kill Bill. Maya was four years old, and would “watch my mom get the shit kicked out of her while I ate gummy bears”. Watching a pro do her thing as you grow up certainly has its perks in the acting business: 

“It’s a very hard industry to get into, and if you grow up in it, it’s a lot easier,” she acknowledges that it also comes with the baggage of comparison and expectation. 

Therefore, Hawke strives to prove herself through her hard work and her acting, and while, she clarifies, “there’s no world in which I’d go hungry,” she does feel the pressure of maintaining financial independence while balancing her desire to do projects that define “the kind of artist/actor/person that I want to be.”

PC: Neil Rasmus/

The twinning mother-daughter duo had a rare public outing together at a classy museum gala. The duo attended the Guggenheim International Gala put on by Dior to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building and its recent inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Uma Thurman wore a long black dress, while Hawke, who recently starred in season 3 of Stranger Things, opted for a gown with a sheer fishnet bodice and floral printed skirt. Both dresses were designed by Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Maya Hawke and Ethan Hawke

When Maya Hawke was born in 1998, her father Ethan Hawke had just starred in Gattaca and Great Expectations. As his career continued with Training Day, he saw his young daughter develop artistic tendencies.

“It’s one of the great honors of my life,” Hawke said. “It’s shocking. I knew when she was a kid, all parents feel this way but I felt that she was an artist really young and she’s a substantive human being.”

Maya Hawke would have grown up seeing her parents act. Now they’re all colleagues. Ethan Hawke says he’s embracing it: 

“It keeps my life interesting and exciting to try to be the person that she wants me to be,” Hawke said. “Kids think so highly of their parents that sometimes they think more highly of us than we think of ourselves. I didn’t realize that part of the value in mentoring people is that they teach you. I learned a lot from my kids.”

But the sentiment was similar from daughter to father too. In 2009, Maya watched her father rehearse and perform Anton Chekhov’s play The Cherry Orchard, an observational position many young actors might pay to inhabit. “I would sit and watch the dress rehearsal, I would watch them get notes,” she says. “I’ve always been kind of a voyeur.”

The Training Day actor also says his daughter’s generation is making Hollywood better. He has called Hollywood a boy’s club. He came up in the ‘80s and ‘90s in films like Dead Poets Society, White Fang and The Newton Boys. Even in ensemble films like Reality Bites and Alive, he saw behind the scenes was still a boy’s club. He thinks it still is, but it’s getting better for Maya Hawke and her Stranger Things costars.

“It’s undoubtedly better than 1989 when Dead Poets Society came out,” Ethan Hawke said. “It’s unquestionably a better one. It’s still a boy’s club as reflected through the quality of pay and the people who are actually in charge. There’s a lot of work to be done but she’s in a place and her generation is poised to make a great push forward. There’s a lot more awareness. Nobody was asking that question in 1991.”

Maya Hawke: Little Woman

Maya Hawke’s preparations began when Hawke was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child; Little Women was one of the first books she read by herself. 

“Jo was a big inspiration to me,” she stated, “as far as having the drive and the passion to pursue my love for reading and writing, even when it was challenging.” Hawke, who grew up in New York, ended up attending Saint Ann’s, an arts-oriented private school in Brooklyn, where she explored and nurtured her love of literature and theater.

“In a lot of ways, I have been preparing for this character my entire life,” says Maya Hawke, who plays the tenacious, theatrical Jo March in the PBS miniseries adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 1868 classic: Little Women.

The 1994 adaptation of the March sisters’ story features Winona Ryder in the role of Jo, and is something of a cult favorite, but Hawke’s parents have supported her throughout this entire process. Even though she had some big shoes to fill, her father, Ethan Hawke, came to set one day and couldn’t wait to praise his daughter: 

“She didn’t do a good job, she did a great job [in Little Women]. To see your child thrive, and to see her thrive at a profession that you have a lot of respect for, that I’ve dedicated my life to, I was so proud of her.”

Her Songs

Maya Hawke is also a singer, she released her first two singles, titled “Stay Open” and “To Love a Boy” in 2019. Both songs have a gentle, folksy feel to them, with minimal instrumental background, allowing Maya’s singing to take center stage. Maya’s singles were co-written and produced by Jesse Harris. Harris has collaborated with other artists such as Nora Jones, Lana Del Rey, and Conor Oberst.

“These two are really interesting to bring together as an A-side B-side because one is really about the desire to fall in love,” she explained. “The other one is sort of more grounded in the reality of being in love.”

Maya once stated that music is an emotional outlet for her — one that she could produce on her own terms. “The nice thing with music in the last three years alongside the acting work I’ve done is that I didn’t have to wait for anyone’s permission,” she told Refinery29. “I could work on a song in a trailer while I was waiting to go on. The months I just spent just waiting to get a part, I’ve been able to work on this. It has given my life some structure and purpose so that I’m not just waiting around and losing my mind and crying.”

Personal Info:

Maya Hawke: Family Background

Born as Maya Ray Thurman Hawke, the actress comes from a very powerful acting background. She is the love child of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. Her parents met on the set of Gattaca (1997), married in May 1998, and divorced in 2005. The elder sister became a sister when her brother, Levon Thurman Hawke, was born in 2002. 

Maya also has two half-sisters (Clementine Hawke and Indiana Hawke born in 2008 and 2011) by her father’s second wife, Ryan Shawhughes. She has another half-sister ( Luna Thurman-Busson born in 2012) from Uma Thurman’s ex-fiance, financier Arpad Busson.

On her father’s side, Maya Hawke is a great-great-grandniece of playwright Tennessee Williams. On her maternal side, she is a granddaughter of Buddhist scholar Robert A. F. Thurman and model Nena von Schlebrügge. Schlebrügge was previously married to Dr. Timothy Leary. Her mother, Birgit Holmquist, was also a model, having posed for Axel Ebbe’s statue Famntaget, located in Smygehuk in Sweden.

Where is Maya Hawke from?

Born as Maya Ray Thurman Hawke (born July 8, 1998), the actress and model is from America. Hawke was born on July 8, 1998, in New York City, the elder of two children born to actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

What school did Maya Hawke go to?

Maya Hawke was diagnosed with dyslexia, which resulted in her changing schools frequently during her primary education before she was finally enrolled at Saint Ann’s School, a private school in Brooklyn, New York. This specific school worked out for her as it emphasizes artistic creativity and does not grade work. 

The artistic environment eventually led her to acting. Maya Hawke also took part in summer studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and the renowned Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. She attended the performing arts school Juilliard for one year before being forced to drop out after accepting her breakout role in Little Women.

Maya Hawke: Parents

PC: (Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images, Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

When your daughter says that acting has always felt natural, “like swimming or breathing or kissing”, it shouldn’t be surprising as talent may literally be in the child’s genes. 

Maya Hawke’s parents are Hollywood stars Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, whose impressive resumes include Academy Award nominations, starring roles in cult classics including Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, the Before trilogy, and The Dead Poets Society, writing, directing, and producing credits.

Her parents met on the set of Gattaca in 1998 and were married for seven years before they split when Maya was 5 years old. 

Maya Hawke, has previously opened up about the influence her actor parents have had on her.

“I’m so grateful for my parents and I love them and we have a great relationship,” she said at the time. “They set an amazing example for me and taught me so much. It’s such an advantage to have people that you’re really close to that have both carved paths through the arts to give information and advice and insight.”

Are Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke still together?

On May 1, 1998, Hawke married actress Uma Thurman. The couple fell in love on the set of Gattaca in 1996 and had two children. The actors filed for divorce in 2003, amid allegations of Hawke’s infidelity with the family nanny and filed for divorce the following year. The divorce was finalized in August 2005.

Did Ethan Hawke marry his nanny?

Ethan Hawke has married his former nanny Ryan Shawhughes. The actor’s publicist, Mara Buxbaum, announced that the couple tied the knot in 2008 in New York City. This was his second marriage and the actor was quick to defend himself against speculations about the nanny coming in between himself and Uma during his first marriage.  Hawke said, “… my [first] marriage disintegrated due to many pressures, none of which were remotely connected to Ryan.”

Who is Ethan Hawke’s wife?

Ethan Hawke’s wife is Ryan Shawhughes who worked as a nanny to his and Thurman’s children before graduating from Columbia University, they have two daughters. 

Who is Uma Thurman’s husband?

Thurman met English actor Gary Oldman on the set of State of Grace; they married in 1990 and divorced two years later. On May 1, 1998, she married American actor Ethan Hawke, whom she met on the set of the 1997 film Gattaca. Hawke’s novel Ash Wednesday is dedicated to “Karuna”, Thurman’s middle name. Together, Thurman and Hawke had two children, a daughter, Maya (born in 1998), and a son, Levon (born in 2002). The couple separated in 2003, and the divorce was finalized in August 2005.

Thurman began dating London-based French financier Arpad Busson in 2007, and they announced their engagement in June 2008. In late 2009, they called off their engagement, but reconciled soon after. The couple called off the engagement for the second time in April 2014. Thurman and Busson have a daughter Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson, known as Luna (born in July 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts). In January 2017, Thurman and Busson began child custody negotiations in relation to their daughter, which resulted in Thurman receiving primary physical custody later that month.

Who is Maya Hawke dating 2019?

Even though on-screen, Hawke showed great friendship chemistry with co-star Joe Keery, who plays Steve Harrington, they’re not a couple. The truth is, making viewers believe in a smooth connection is Keery and Hawke’s literal job, so that’s what you call actors giving a great performance( is anyone else thinking of Lady Gaga and Bradley). Turns out, Keery has been dating actress Maika Monroe since the couple met while shooting After Everything more than two years ago, according to Seventeen.

As for Maya Hawke, back in December 2017, the actress revealed to The Sydney Morning Herald that she was single and ready to mingle. “I had a wonderful, loving relationship that lasted a year,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. “It just ended and I’m single. I think I scare men. I was given the impression that being 19 and single in the world means you’ll be fending off the wolves, but I can’t find a wolf to save my life.”

Hang in there, Maya Hawke! 


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