Uma Thurman's Lookalike Daughter Has Grown Up To Be Gorgeous

Spare a thought for Maya Thurman Hawke. Most celebrity kids are outed by their famous surnames — poor Maya has two to contend with, both of which are pretty noteworthy (no wonder she dropped the "Thurman"). The eldest daughter of A-list exes Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke may have been born Hollywood royalty, pretty much learning to walk on film sets surrounded by the likes of David Carradine, but her parents were smart enough to keep her out of the business for as long as possible.  

Although she showed signs of promise from a young age, dabbling in several artistic avenues, Hawke took the normal route to education, securing a place at the prestigious Juilliard school through sheer talent and drive alone. But Hollywood stories rarely run smooth, particularly for kids with two famous parents. As she grew older, the similarities to her folks became more evident — and not just in her looks.

Growing up on set

Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke are one of those Hollywood couples the public has collectively forgotten about, since they were a thing so long ago. But they were actually married for seven years, from 1998-2005, as noted by People, a fruitful period in both of their careers that covers the likes of Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 for her and Before Sunset for him. Maya, the eldest of their two kids, was born just a couple months after they got hitched, in New York, where she still resides. Son Levon followed in 2002.   

Indeed, some of Maya's earliest memories are from hanging out on film sets while her parents worked. She told Elle that, when the family relocated to China for the first installment in Quentin Tarantino's samurai throwback, she'd sit and "watch my mom get the s**t kicked out of her while I ate gummy bears." 

In light of Thurman's recent revelations about her time working on the film, this story takes on a darker element, but it was still a hell of an introduction to a world the young girl wasn't yet sure she wished to be a part of.  

Anti-child star

Famous parents don't guarantee a kid a future in Hollywood, but they can certainly give them a leg up. In Maya's case, however, the opposite was true. As she told Vogue, Thurman and Hawke ensured their offspring had as normal a childhood as possible. "[My parents] really protected the sanctity of my childhood, really allowed me to be vulnerable and unseen, and I'm very grateful for that," she said, explaining why she hasn't been popping up on red carpets her whole life.  

When she did eventually catch the Hollywood bug, Maya was quick to credit her folks with preparing her to understand exactly what she was taking on. As she told The Telegraph, in no uncertain terms, "I've made a very educated decision about going into the industry. I know what I'm getting into. ... I was raised to be very strong-willed and outspoken, and to not take s**t from anybody." It's to be expected, of course, from the daughter of bloodthirsty revenge-seeker The Bride

Pint-sized artist

Although her parents' attempts to keep her from following in their footsteps too young may have ultimately failed, there was no keeping a good girl down. While discussing her role as Jo March in the BBC's adaptation of Little Women (more on that later), proud papa Ethan Hawke revealed that his little lady was a mini performer-in-training pretty much ever since she learned to walk.

"She was always an artist, writing poems, singing songs," he told People, before gushing about how brilliant she was in a role previously inhabited by his good friend Winona Ryder, as well as the legendary Katharine Hepburn. The Before trilogy star also revealed that Maya didn't discover acting until she was in junior high, adding: "to see your child thrive, and to see her thrive at a profession that you have a lot of respect for, that I've dedicated my life to, I was so proud of her."

Struggling with dyslexia

It was obviously weird growing up with super famous actors as parents, but what Maya found most challenging about her childhood was her ongoing battle with dyslexia. "When you're growing up with a learning disability, it shoots your confidence and belief in what you can accomplish academically, it really damages it," she admitted to Vogue.  

It ultimately pushed her to work even harder to achieve her goals, and was one of the main reasons Maya was later attracted to the role of Jo March in Little Women, and why she fought so hard to get it. "Jo was a big inspiration to me, as far as having the drive and the passion to pursue my love for reading and writing, even when it was challenging," she told Elle. The youngster eventually settled into Brooklyn's Saint Ann's, an arts-focused private school where she could nurture her gifts in a setting that suited her condition.   

Wannabe Annie Hall

Though she rarely makes appearances at events, Hawke still has a very unique style that she showcases in other ways. She's evolved over the years from a tomboy to a modern Annie Hall to... herself. While chatting with Vanity Fair, she revealed that the soft denim and summer dresses selected for her at a recent fashion shoot reminded her of her childhood. 

When it came to describing her own style evolution, Maya admitted there were many muses over the years. "When I was in my early and mid-teens, my style changed constantly. My clothing was inspired by Annie Hall for a while, by a yoga teacher, a flower child, a pirate ... name it. There was a time that I would have carried a briefcase and worn a monocle were it to even border on socially acceptable. I guess the biggest way my style is changing is that it changes much less," she explained. The older she gets, the more Maya is concerned with just being Maya. 

Saintly summer job

Most kids get summer jobs in the mall, but Maya became the face of British label AllSaints for hers. The young lady was revealed in September 2016, with the label's 2017 spring campaign, which encompassed a full photo-shoot and 2-minute short film directed by the label's creative director, Wil Beedle. 

"Anyone who spends any time with Maya will tell you that she's smart, cool and possesses an infectious enthusiasm for new ideas, the creative process, and life in general," Beedle told Women's Wear Daily of working with the young model during the shoot in Woodstock, New York.   

Hawke's most prized element of the shoot was being on the road with a fellow creative. "My favourite thing was driving around with the designer Wil Beedle. The roads upstate are beautiful. I loved leaning against the window, chatting about all kinds of things (collaborating on ideas for the shoot and much more) and trading music suggestions," she told Vogue. As summer jobs go, it doesn't really get much better than starring in a campaign for a label as cool as AllSaints. 

Freshman blues

It's hard enough starting school not knowing anybody, but bearing a striking resemblance to your A-list parents has to make it that much harder. Unfortunately for Hawke, her first day at Juilliard also coincided with the release of her first ever fashion campaign for hip label AllSaints.

While she was trying to find her place in the school's prestigious acting program, her classmates were checking out the shoot online. Hawke felt like she no longer deserved to be there. "I found myself being overcome with confusion, and sadness, because I'd arrived at what I thought was the pinnacle and integrity of artistry; this tremendous academy of arts that didn't cater to commerce at all," she admitted to Refinery 29.

The young, wannabe actress had an identity crisis trying to figure out the balance between that one act of commerce and the artist she wanted to be. Thankfully, at the ripe old age of 18, she realized that balance was not just achievable, but actually essential to her success in the business.

Breakout beauty moment

Although she had never been one to show up on red carpets just for the sake of it, Maya made a pretty stylish appearance in the front row at New York Fashion Week when she was just 19 years old. Looking effortlessly chic but not too over the top, she appeared as comfortable as someone who'd been attending these events all her life. As Vogue noted in a news piece on her appearance, from her hair to her make-up to her clothes, the strength of Maya's look was how laid-back and natural it seemed.  

Of course, it shouldn't be too surprising coming from the self-identified contemporary Annie Hall who dresses for comfort rather than style. As she explained to The Telegraph, it isn't about not caring necessarily but rather about self expression. "I do care a lot about what I wear, but in a way that is about comfort and practicality, and I always want to look like me," she explained.   

Contrasting mother-daughter fashion

Even a woman opposed to turning up on red carpets unless she has a bloody good reason isn't going to turn down the Met Gala — and so Maya appeared alongside her glamorous mother, Uma Thurman, in 2018. The theme of the event was "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." In keeping with it, Maya opted for Gothic, high-necked black — a dark look — while her mom chose angelic white for the occasion. 

The two ladies walked the red carpet separately, as noted by InStyle, something that seemed deliberate coming from a young lady looking to make her mark without relying on her famous parents. In fact, when Vanity Fair asked whether her folks ever put pressure on her to dress a certain way, Maya shot that suggestion right down, replying, "oh certainly not. I have sometimes felt pressure to dress a certain way because of everyone else. ... Girls in high school and strangers on the street have put way more pressure on me to dress a certain way than my mom or dad." 

Dropping out

As strong willed and independent as she is, Maya faced a life-changing decision when she was still relatively young. Midway through studying at the iconic Juilliard, where she was following in the footsteps of the likes of Adam Driver, Viola Davis, and Oscar Isaac, the young actor received word she'd been cast as Jo March in the BBC's adaptation of Little Women. Shooting would overlap with her school schedule, and Juilliard has strict rules about absence.

She opened up to Interview about the difficult decision, and how she ultimately made it. "It's really easy as an actor just starting out to get into the mind-set that you only get one break. But my parents have shown me that's not true. Ultimately, I realized: the whole world can be your school. And if that's the case, why not start right now?" she explained sagely. 

Makes sense, considering the kid showed the interviewer in question a list of things she wanted to do with her life — literally scribbled down on her arm.

Becoming a little woman

The role of a lifetime, which changed Maya's life irrevocably by virtue of the fact she had to turn her back on Juilliard to take it, wasn't even hers right off the bat. As she explained to Interview, at first, the casting directors wouldn't even see her for the lead. "I was begging them to let me read for Jo. It wasn't that I wanted to be the star; it was just that I identified so much with Jo's energy, her curiosity, her, you know, misfit-ness," Maya explained

The BBC adaptation has a starry cast, including the legendary Angela Lansbury (whom the young thespian admitted to Vogue is her style icon — even above her mother) and Michael Gambon. Louisa May Alcott's seminal tome meant a lot to Maya from a young age as it was the first book she read cover to cover while struggling with dyslexia. Jo March's headstrong young woman could almost have been written for Hawke, particularly considering how hard she fought for the chance to portray her. 

Logging off

Although it's almost unheard of for a nineties kid, let alone a famous one, Maya isn't hugely into social media. She keeps a private Instagram account for family and friends only and, when pressed by an interviewer about how she meets potential dates, dismissed all those super-popular dating apps as a method of finding true love. 

An old soul with a strong grip on who she is as a person, Maya prefers to do things face to face. As she told The Telegraph, she's not glued to her phone. "I'm interested in human contact. I think phones have created a certain social incapacity; it's made people socially deficient. And if it's fun to spend time alone, then there's not the incentive to go out and meet people and make yourself vulnerable," she explained simply.

That doesn't stop her mother leaving adorable comments on her daughter's Instagram posts (via her username "ithurman"), however, most of which go hilariously unnoticed. 

Heading to Hawkins

Jo March may have been the role closest to her heart, but Maya's biggest break yet came when she was summoned to the Upside Down. Or rather, the town of Hawkins. In early 2018, it was announced that the eldest member of the Hawke clan would be joining Netflix super-hit Stranger Things for its highly-anticipated third season.  

Maya's character, as noted by Variety in its announcement, will be front and center as an alternative kid who stumbles upon something sinister when she gets bored at work. Netflix advised Twitter users to "prepare for some angst" with Maya's character. Hopefully, given the complete lack of teenage Goths on the show, the kid is stepping into some boots. Or lurking in the local cemetery.  

Considering the kids have tussled with all manner of dark matter, it's likely to be her most physical role yet. Still, for a young woman strong enough to quit Juilliard, make her way in the industry without her parents' assistance, and put down her phone to force face-to-face interaction, the Demogorgon should be no problem.