Maya Hawke Isn’t Ashamed to Be a ‘Nepo Baby’

Maya Hawke isn’t ashamed of the leg up she gets from having famous parents.

The Stranger Things actress, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, is under no illusions about her “nepo baby” status. Still, she can’t see how not taking a role that has been offered to her helps anyone else.

“There are so many people who deserve to have this kind of life who don’t, but I think I’m comfortable with not deserving it and doing it anyway,” she told The Times of London. “And I know that my not doing it wouldn’t help anyone.

Maya has made a habit out of wielding her silver spoon like a sword. The actress frequently gets out ahead of accusations that she landed a role purely based on her name with jokes. She recently called her family the “indie Kardashians” and knows that any attempt to hide her lineage (a path she laid out for The Times as “change your name, get a nose job and go to open casting roles”) would just be found out with time.

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A leg up. Not everyone starts at the bottom in Hollywood — especially if their parents are already famous. These celebrity kids have spoken out about being “nepo babies.” Some Euphoria fans were shocked to learn Maude Apatow had famous parents, The Other Woman star Leslie Mann and writer/director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Her […]

In her new interview, Maya was forthright about her casting in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood, saying she landed the role for “nepotistic reasons” while also putting it in context. She notes that the story about Hollywood’s history and legacy was loaded with the children of Hollywood stars like Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) and Margaret Qualley (whose mother is Andie MacDowell).

Even with all that self-deprecation, she knows that jokes are coming. Maya said she can handle cracks about her “undeserved” fame — they come with the territory of being lucky to be born into her family.

“It’s OK to be made fun of when you’re in rarefied air. It’s a lucky place to be,” she said. “My relationships with my parents are really honest and positive, and that supersedes anything anyone can say about it.”

The singer went on to talk about her relationship to her father, saying that she lived with him at the Hotel Chelsea for a while following her parents’ divorce.

“I ran a lemonade stand in the lobby and there was a vacant elevator shaft in the back of my dad’s closet that I used to love to hang out in,” she said of the time. “He used to make these incredible treasure maps that we would follow around the Chelsea and the neighborhood. It was a magical time.”

That ease with each other came in handy recently. The Hawkes worked together on Wildcat, which hit theaters last month, an Ethan Hawke-directed biopic of Flannery O’Connor in which Maya stars as the Southern Gothic novelist.

“We were both being asked constantly if we were nervous to work with each other but we weren’t nervous, because I spent my whole life making art with that guy,” she said.

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