Ethan Hawke was convinced Robin Williams hated him on the set of Dead Poets Society

Actor said he found Williams ‘incredibly irritating’ at the time

Adam White
Sunday 29 August 2021 09:27
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind trailer

Ethan Hawke was convinced that Robin Williams hated him on the set of Dead Poets Society, the actor has revealed.

Hawke had one of his earliest roles in 1989’s Dead Poets Society, in which Williams played an inspirational teacher at an all-boys school. But the pair were somewhat at odds off-camera, with Hawke confessing that he only realised later in life that he was the problem all along.

“I thought Robin hated me,” Hawke said during a Q&A at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (via Variety). “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 continued: “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.

“As I get older, I realise there is something intimidating about young people’s earnestness, their intensity.”

Despite their slight tension, Williams later recommended Hawke to an agent friend of his, who went on to be Hawke’s first major representative in the industry.

Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke in ‘Dead Poets Society'

Hawke, who was collecting the President’s Award at the Czech film festival, will next be seen in the Marvel television series Moon Knight alongside Oscar Isaac.

Earlier this month, he revealed his unusual muse for his character in the show was none other than real-life cult leader David Koresh.

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