Ethan Hawke Reflects On Directing Daughter Maya’s Sex Scenes in ‘Wildcat’: ‘We Were So Comfortable’

Maya had to shoot an intimate scene while her famous dad oversaw the production as the director. 

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Ethan Hawke and Maya Thurman Hawke
Image Credit: Todd Williamson/JanuaryImages/Sh

Father-daughter duo Ethan Hawke and Maya Hawke kept things professional on the set of their indie movie, Wildcat, which required the actress to film a sex scene while her dad oversaw the production. 

“We were so comfortable with it. I couldn’t care less,” Ethan, 52, told Variety in an interview published on Tuesday, September 5. He then joked that they “needed to take care of [her costars] Rafael [Casal] and Cooper [Hoffman]” instead of the Stranger Things actress, 25. 

“I think it was weird for them,” Ethan added with a laugh. Maya then joined her father in the conversation by noting, “We made sure to have an intimacy coordinator on set for them so that they felt safe and comfortable and not like they were being spied on … ” to which Ethan finished her sentence by joking, “By some creepy dad.” 

One of the scenes in question features Maya portraying a woman with a wooden leg who has sex in a hayloft with Cooper’s character, a Bible salesman. This is one out of the few intimate scenes starring the New York City native. 

“I had moments of insecurity about it while we were shooting the movie,” Maya admitted. “But the internet doesn’t have a lot of nuances. My dad has been a massive teacher for me, and we want to work together. We like being with each other.”  

The Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood actress, however, maintained a professional demeanor while on set with Ethan, who shares his daughter and son Levon Hawke with ex-wife Uma Thurman. While working with her father, Maya called him by his first name in order to avoid calling him “dad” at first. 

“And then I realized it was actually more distracting to people,” Maya revealed. “They’d be like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ So, I mostly called him ‘Dad.’”  

Ethan chimed in by acknowledging the criticism they might receive from the public over nepotism.  

“If someone wants to criticize us for working together, that’s totally fair,” the Northman actor said. “You have to let people have their opinion. You just have to try to do a good job when you’re on stage. … Put simply, I’m a nepo dad! And I’m not embarrassed about it.”