Maya Hawke, who is only 24 years old, has already appeared in a number of successful Hollywood movies, released two studio albums, started a US music tour, won over viewers everywhere as Robin in the Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things, and twice served as the face of Calvin Klein’s advertising campaign. It is even more astonishing to learn that Hawke is one of the most down-to-earth, kind-hearted, soft-spoken, and refreshingly candid people around given that she grew up in the harsh (and frequently harmful) spotlight of Hollywood as the daughter of industry icons Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.
Fresh from her latest underwear campaign for Calvin Klein, Maya Hawke speaks to ELLE UK about what ‘sexy’ means to her, Stranger Things season five, her biggest teenage style regrets, and the secret behind her much-copied-but-rarely-achieved signature shaggy hair do…
On modelling for Calvin Klein's latest campaign
I’ve only only modelled a few times, but this campaign was unquestionably one of the greatest. Modeling lingerie is one of those creative endeavors where your clothing choices can make you feel more exposed, but I can’t think of anyone who could have put me at ease more than Gray [Sorrenti]. I actually enjoyed working on the campaign with her just to be with someone my own age—we even attended the same school. It’s crucial to have a skilled photographer who can put you in situations and poses that you might not feel most comfortable in on a daily basis. I had complete faith in Grey in this regard. It was fantastic, very.
On What 'Sexy' Means To Her
‘It always changes, and I think that’s the really cool thing about beauty and sexuality, in photography and art too – the standards for what qualifies “sexy” are always shifting. But for me, confidence is always the unifying factor. Even as trends change, that’s where sexy lives.’
On Personal Style
‘Right now, I’m wearing dirty jeans, an old T-shirt and and a yellow felted coat, that my mom [Uma Thurman] got for me at a festival in Hudson Valley recently… All of the most stylish people I know have a uniform, and mine is blue jeans, t-shirts and jackets. It’s that thing of wanting to dress more like the designer themselves than the clothes they’ve designed. In terms of inspiration, I definitely inherited tonnes from my mom. I am totally inspired by her. We were just talking about it yesterday, how she has decorated the homes I’ve lived in my whole life influenced by her travels and her parents who were super involved with Buddhism and Tibet and the Dalai Lama. When I look at my apartment, it definitely looks like a space of someone who wants to be like her.’
On Shaggy Hair Tips
I had a really straight bob with no layers that was very French for years because I truly wanted one. I constantly tried to give it more volume, but that cut never really worked, and I was reluctant to cut in layers. I simply had to overcome my phobia, and as a result, the front has many layers and is somewhat choppy. Most of the time, I just don’t think about it much or touch it much. On Stranger Things, a beautician by the name of Sarah advises finishing your shower by rinsing off your hair while leaning over upside-down and submerging it in cold water.
Then you kind of cat-paw your hair up and just let it be really messy and not perfect. And in the world of messiness, you occasionally have ridiculous days, and you occasionally have great days. And that, I think, is also a generally good description of my personal style: you accept a lot of messiness and room for error to have the occasional miraculous, great day of all the different messinesses coming together and making you look like Kurt Cobain. He’s also another big style influence for me. I’d really like to look like Kurt Cobain.’