Ethan Hawke is reflecting on the indelible mark Robin Williams left on his career — even though they had a rocky start at first.
Speaking at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where he received the President’s Award, the 50-year-old actor, who co-starred with Williams in the Oscar-winning 1989 movie Dead Poets Society, admitted he once thought Williams hated him.
“I thought Robin hated me. He had a habit of making a ton of jokes on set. At 18, I found that incredibly irritating. He wouldn’t stop and I wouldn’t laugh at anything he did,” Hawke said, according to Variety. “There was this scene in the film when he makes me spontaneously make up a poem in front of the class. He made this joke at the end of it, saying that he found me intimidating. I thought it was a joke.”
He said his understanding of Williams’ joke changed over the years, adding, “As I get older, I realize there is something intimidating about young people’s earnestness, their intensity. It is intimidating — to be the person they think you are. Robin was that for me.”
Hawke played Todd Anderson in Dead Poet’s Society, a student who forms a special bond with Williams’ John Keating.
Hawke also revealed that Williams admired him all along and even helped him get his start in Hollywood, noting that the late comedian helped him secure his first talent agent.
“[The agent] called, saying, ‘Robin Williams says you are going to do really well,'” he grinned.
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