Maya Hawke Is Fine With Being a Nepo Baby

She's the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

Uma Thurman and her daughter Maya Hawke attend the Giorgio Armani Prive Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 22, 2019 in Paris, France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maya Hawke has no problem with being a nepo baby.

The daughter of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, Maya knows that her parents being who they are has helped her land some of her acting roles, and she's the first to admit it.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Maya was asked if she feels she "deserves" her career success.

"'Deserves' is a complicated word," she replied. "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 added, "And I know that my not doing it wouldn’t help anyone. I saw two paths when I was first starting, and one of them was: change your name, get a nose job and go to open casting roles."

Maya Hawke and father Ethan Hawke pose at the opening night after party for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Sam Shepard's "True West" on Broadway at Brasserie 8 1/2 on January 24, 2019

Maya Hawke poses with dad Ethan Hawke.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maya also addressed some comments she made about how she landed her role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which generated backlash. In 2019, she told The Hollywood Reporter, "I got an audition for the project through the normal channels through my agents. I did an audition in my bedroom with my dad [actor Ethan Hawke]. We sent in the tape to Quentin and I got a callback."

Speaking to the Times, she clarified, "I’ve been wildly made fun of for this clip when I said, on the red carpet, that I auditioned. I never meant to imply that I didn’t get the part for nepotistic reasons—I think I totally did."

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The term "nepo baby" gained immediate prominence after Vulture published a feature about Hollywood's second-generation stars in late 2022, which named Maya among many others.

The actress—known for roles in Stranger Things, Asteroid City, and Maestro—has never shied away from referencing her famous family in interviews. Speaking to Variety in 2023, she even joked, "We’re like the boring, indie Kardashians," which, I'm sorry: iconic.

Plenty of other famous nepo babies, such as Kaia Gerber (daughter and doppelgänger of Cindy Crawford) and Jamie Lee Curtis (daughter of Tony Curtis), have fully embraced the label. But it's Hailey Bieber (daughter of Stephen Baldwin) who truly took the cake when she wore *that* shirt that said "Nepo Baby" on it, just days after the Vulture piece was published. Equally iconic.

Hailey Bieber is seen on January 06, 2023 in Los Angeles, California

Hailey Bieber flaunts her "Nepo Baby" status in a crop top.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, other stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow (daughter of Blythe Danner) and Dakota Johnson (daughter of Melanie Griffith and, possibly of interest, partner of Paltrow's ex-husband Chris Martin) have been more critical of the whole discourse.

"There’s nothing wrong with doing or wanting to do what your parents do," the Goop founder said in 2023. "Nobody rips on a kid who’s like 'I want to be a doctor like my dad and granddad.'"

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Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.