Ethan Hawke applauded his daughter Maya Hawke at the Toronto International Film Festival.
As Ethan, 52, presented Wildcatof his new film he directed with Maya, 25, on Monday in Toronto, he praised Maya’s “surprising intelligence and commitment” to the role of writer Flannery O’Connor.
“Most of all, I want to thank you for your work,” Ethan said, drawing laughter from the film festival crowd. (She’s an executive producer on the project.) “She hired me and I did my best to help you.”
“If you see anything else tonight, you’ll see a young artist just circling her father, running out the door and patting his ass as she walks by,” Ethan added. “This is one of my favorite performances I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait for you to see it.”
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Ethan Hawke and Maya Hawke at the premiere of “Wildcat” during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival at the Royal Alexandra Theater on September 11, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.
Wildcat stars Stranger Things actress as O’Connor in the film that “[imagines] a young writer as she perfects her process, devoting herself to her unique and deeply personal fiction at the cost of her own comfort and pleasure,” reads the official description of the festival.
The father-daughter film duo (Ethan shares Maya with his ex-wife Uma Thurman) could appear in Toronto on Monday during the ongoing Screen Actors Guild strike over Wildcattemporary agreement with the guild.
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While the couple spoke to PEOPLE on the red carpet on Monday, Maya said that “making the movie was indescribably special and one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
“To be at this festival and to have the exemption and approval of our union during the strike to be here and celebrate film and independent film and see this film with an audience, which is so rare now, is just the ultimate privilege and I feel lucky to be here today, for various reasons,” she said. Ethan added, “Same.”
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Maya Hawke and Ethan Hawke at the premiere of “Wildcat” during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival at the Royal Alexandra Theater on September 11, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.
The new film marks Ethan’s fifth time directing a feature film; he also directed the documentary series 2022 The last movie starswhich focused on the life and relationship of Paul Newman and Joanna Woodward.
Wildcat also starring Laura Linney, Philip Ettinger, Rafael Casal, Cooper Hoffman (Licorice pizza), Steve Zahn (White lotus), Vincent D’Onofrio, Alessandro Nivola, Christine Dye and Willa Fitzgerald.
Wildcat had its world premiere at the Telluride International Film Festival on September 1. The film does not have a release date yet.