How Stranger Things’ Maya Hawke Convinced Her Dad Ethan to Join Marvel

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Ethan Hawke, Maya Hawke, Marvel

Most have probably heard people talk smack about Marvel Studios and the superhero genre as a whole. It’s fairly common, which makes sense given how prevalent the properties are in pop culture. Some of the most prolific negative comments have come from iconic Hollywood directors such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Yet, big names such as Angelina Jolie, Christian Bale, and Ethan Hawke still end up signing onto projects.

Bale recently played Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder. Many thought he’d never touch a Marvel project, yet here he was going up against Chris Hemsworth.

So what has convinced these actors to sign on? Well, for Bale, part of it was for his children. This also seems to be the case for Hawke, who played the big bad in Moon Knight. The actor has recently revealed that his kids were also a key part of why he signed on—more specifically, a lot of the thanks can go to his daughter of Stranger Things fame, Maya.

Ethan Hawke Convinced By Family to Join Marvel

Ethan Hawke, Moon Knight

In an interview with Indie Wire, while talking about his time on Moon Knight, Ethan Hawke revealed that his daughter, Maya, who most may know as Robin Buckley from Stranger Things, played a hand in convincing him to join the MCU.

The actor shared that she would tell him he should "go into [Marvel's] sandbox, play with them, and show them what you have to offer," which is a piece of wisdom he then shared with co-star Oscar Isaac:

"Maya would say to me, 'Why are you sitting on the outside and telling everyone their sandbox is bad? Why don’t you go into their sandbox, play with them, and show them what you have to offer?' I said to Oscar Isaac, 'We’ve got to go play in Marvel’s sandbox and try to do what we do. We don’t have to change Marvel. We just want to show them what we’re capable of doing and see if they find it interesting.' So we had a lot of rehearsals and worked on things a lot. We had a really good experience."

While talking with Express, Hawke offered more on the topic, noting how Maya told him that "the people who love movies right now are going to see [Marvel] movies:"

“I was thinking about whether to do this or not and [Maya] was just talking about how much the people who love movies right now are going to see these movies... you want to play where the audience is at and see if you can play in their playground and make something good... but these people really are passionate about movies and so am I, so it seems like a good fit.”

The actor continued in a conversation with E! Online, saying that "we want people to care about art... [and] this is what people care about:"

“[Maya] said something really beautiful to me... as a performer, your job is to participate with the audience. Yes, you want to lead and do work that you believe in, but we want people to care about art. This is what people care about. They really have a passion for the material. You have to respect them and respect their fandom and try to give them something that’s worth it.”

With Screenrant, Hawke revealed that his 13-year-old daughter even looked at him differently when she saw him in a trailer for Moon Knight:

"Well, I'll tell you this. I have a 13-year-old, and she saw the Moon Knight trailer and she was like... I mean all of a sudden, my being an actor was real to her. She watched it on her phone and was like, 'Dad, this looks really good.' I mean her eyes just went—she couldn't believe it. 'That's what the kids at school are talking about." 

Maya Hawke Supports the Marvel Audience

While it’s easy to look past, it truly is Marvel Studios that played a massive part in reviving the movie theater scene coming out of the COVID-19 crisis. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' success led to movies finally being released in theaters and without further delays—for the most part.

Then, Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Christmas release was a massive success, proving how the industry wasn’t dying just yet. Even more recently, Top Gun: Maverick proved that even projects outside of the superhero genre can still be successful.

So, while it may be easy for some audiences to look down on Marvel movies, the words of wisdom from Maya Hawke provide a good frame of reference for looking at it all. The audience for the genre is where a lot of love is right now, and it’s helping the industry thrive when many had already called time of death.

Hopefully, the involvement of big-time actors like Ethan Hawke, Oscar Isaac, and Christian Bale can continue to convince other big talents to hop aboard the Marvel train.

Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.