‘Stranger Things 3’: Who Is Maya Hawke?

One of the best parts of Stranger Things season 3 is new character Robin, played by Maya Hawke. Her resume might be short, but her pedigree is pretty impressive — her parents are actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

Maya Hawke Stranger Things 3 star famous parents Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman
Maya Hawke | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

Who is Maya Hawke?

Hawke, who was born on July 8, 1998, is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, who met on the set of the movie Gattaca in 1997. Her famous parents were married in 1998 and divorced in 2005. Hawke has a brother, Levon, and half-sisters from her parents’ other relationships.

Hawke is also the great-great-grandniece of playwright Tennessee Williams on her father’s side and the granddaughter of Buddhist scholar Robert A. F. Thurman and model Nena von Schlebrügge, who was married to Dr. Timothy Leary, on her mother’s side.

Hawke studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York and attended Juilliard for one year. She dropped out when she accepted a role in the 2017 BBC adaptation of Little Women, making her screen debut in the role of Jo March. She will also appear in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Hawke is earning rave reviews on Stranger Things

Hawke was a new addition to the third season of Stranger Things, playing Robin, who works alongside Steve (Joe Keery), initially providing some comic relief at their Starcourt Mall job at Scoops Ahoy. Robin proves to be much more than a co-worker, lending her smarts to help crack the Russian code Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) discovers in a radio transmission.

She not only translates the Russian, but quickly discovers what the code means: that a secret delivery will come from Lynx Mountain Transportation at quarter to nine, disguised as packages for the mall’s Chinese restaurant and shoe shop.

Hawke shared details of her famous upbringing

The actress has spoken in the past about being of the daughter of famous actors, telling WWD: “It makes [for] more expectations and it makes it so that people doubt your intentions and your ability and your place, but the truth is that you just have to work hard and hopefully you learn your place.”

She added: “And there are all kinds of ways that it helps you get a foot in the door, but you’re going to get booted out the door if, once you’re in, you suck.”

She did have some concerns about following in those famous footsteps, explaining, “I resisted it a little bit, because it was the family business, until I realized that it made me the most happy and that it was what I was the best at.”

She added:“I was simultaneously doing a play at my school, and it was the only thing I liked doing. I didn’t like studying for my SAT, didn’t like writing essays, but I felt so alive and capable in the theater at my school… and how do you say no to that?”

Ethan Hawke is a proud dad

Hawke’s dad took to Instagram to give his daughter a shout out for her Stranger Things performance, writing: “Some of you may have missed her in last year’s BBC production of Little Women. Some of you may have missed her work at Juilliard. I know many missed out on numerous high school productions — heck I even missed a few and I’m her father. Some of you may know her music, some may not. But Ladies & Gentleman, get to know MAYA HAWKE. She’s the real thing. #StrangerThings.”

Ethan Hawke fans will, of course, make the connection that he starred with Maya’s Stranger Things co-star Winona Ryder in the iconic 90s film Reality Bites.