If Maya Hawke Has Single-Handedly Re-ignited Your Love Of Stranger Things, You’re Not Alone

She's the offspring of screen legend Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke and breakout star of Stranger Things - safe to say we're obsessed.

Maya Hawke

by Harriet Kean |
Updated on

When Stranger Things returned to Netflix’s screens earlier this month, many were enthralled by enigmatic newcomer Robin. A feisty teen who works in an ice-cream diner, she is played by Maya Hawke, the 21-year-old daughter of A-listers Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. Joining a critically acclaimed cast that includes Millie Bobby Brownand Finn Wolhard, and with an impressive pedigree, Maya is set to be Hollywood’s next big thing.

As a record-breaking amount of viewers tuned in, Uma and Ethan took to Instagram last week to show their immeasurable pride. ‘Get to know Maya Hawke, she’s the real thing,’ Ethan wrote, alongside an image of his daughter dressed in her diner uniform. Uma echoed his excitement: ‘My victorious, loving, mermaid daughter,’ she captioned a photo of Maya reclining on a mermaid float. ‘A weekend of triumph on Stranger Things. Congratulations beloved.’

Indeed, her parents’ influence is crucial. Maya spoke last week about how ‘wonderful’ and ‘supportive’ her parents are, but conceded that they can be critical. ‘I know my parents don’t BS me,’ she said. ‘They’re pretty rigorous with their commentary when they like something or they don’t.’ Luckily, they were ardent fans of Stranger Things before she had even read for the part. Maya admitted that she hadn’t watched the series before auditioning, but that didn’t put her off: ‘I came to it thinking, “OK, sarcastic, bored with her life, Madonna wannabe, cool girl from school that nobody notices.”’

Before joining the motley crew of teens in the cult show, Maya studied at prestigious New York institution Juilliard School, but left to star as Jo March in BBC’s Little Women. But in spite of her place in a blossoming film dynasty and innate on-stage confidence, Maya wasn’t always going to act. Indeed, when she sat down in 2017 with Grazia’s Jane Mulkerrins, she revealed why she didn’t act sooner. ‘Both my parents think that being a child actor is poisonous for one’s development,’ she said. ‘They kept me out of the spotlight, but always came to my plays and read the plays I wrote and read my poems and would listen to me sing. They never pushed me to be a child actor. I’ve made a very educated decision about going into the industry. I know what I’m getting into and I was raised to be very strong-willed, outspoken and to not take shit from anybody.’

Stranger Things is merely the latest step in her journey. Maya can currently be seen alongside Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, following in her mother’s footsteps (Uma starredi n Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill). Next, she stars with Brit Andrew Garfield in Gia Coppola’s film Mainstream, and with Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei in Human Capital. So what does her dad Ethan think about his daughter’s fame? ‘To be honest, I want to work with her,’ he’s said. ‘I want to see how it feels. I would be quite frankly surprised if she sees 40 without directing, just looking at her mind. It’s just going to happen pretty naturally.’

‘I do have the distinct feeling that I might be like Vanessa Redgrave’s father or something,’ he added. ‘That may have been my role, and that would be awesome, right? I’m going to be somebody’s father: Maya Hawke’s father.'

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us