Ethan Hawke’s collaborative relationship with his oldest daughter Maya Hawke could well be considered the gold standard for father/daughter relationships these days. They are both talented actors who support each other’s work, most recently in the upcoming movie Wildcat. And now, they’ve collaborated on a cover of Willie Nelson’s song “We Don’t Run” that is so lovely, Nelson himself even gushed over it.
Hawke shared a little preview of the new song he recorded with his daughter Maya, who is herself a talented musician in her own right. “Maya and I recorded a cover of @willienelsonofficial’s ‘We Don’t Run’ for @lightintheatticrecords celebratory vinyl collection, ‘Light in the Attic & Friends,’” the proud dad, who shares daughter Maya and son Levon with ex-wife Uma Thurman, wrote on Instagram. “This song has been a mainstay in our home since 1996…You can hear it on streaming now & on vinyl next month.”
Hawke shared a snippet of the song on Instagram alongside a throwback photo of himself with his daughter when she was a little girl. And just that short snippet was enough to prompt Willie Nelson himself to comment, “This song is yours now.”
Maya Hawke is a well-known singer-songwriter, who told Entertainment Weekly that working with her dad is an experience she hopes to continue. “I hope to work with my dad my whole life,” she said. “He’s my greatest teacher and my greatest adviser, and it’s an honor to get to work alongside him.”
She also credits her dad with helping her find her passion for music at a young age. “So, when I was with my dad, we’d spend a lot of time together playing guitar, singing songs, writing poetry and would paint late into the night,” the Stranger Things star told As If magazine. “He was figuring out how to fully engage with a child. I was the kid who wasn't interested in sports so he had to engage with me in creative ways. This is where my relationship to communicating with art was built, art is a communication tool.”
The lyrics of Nelson’s song feel especially poignant when sung by a father and a daughter, “You are the road, you are the only way/I'll follow you forever more/We'll look for love, we'll find it in the eyes/The eyes that see through all the doors.” Certainly Ethan Hawke has made it patently clear in the past that his role as dad to Maya, Levon, and his two younger daughters Clementine and Indiana who he shares with wife Ryan Hawke, is the only one that truly matters to him. He told People in 2006 that fatherhood is “the only role that, if I fail, I will consider my life a failure.”
If success as a parent is measured by your kids wanting to spend time with you, Ethan Hawke is indeed far from a failure.