“Dead Poet’s Society” was one of Ethan Hawke’s earliest screen roles, and proved to be a breakthrough film that propelled him onto a successful future.
In a new interview with Variety, the “Good Lord Bird” star recalled that he initially didn’t get along with star Robin Williams due to the late comedy icon’s propensity to crack up his co-stars.
“I thought Robin hated me,” Hawke told 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.”
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However, Williams eventually became one of his earliest champions, and even put him in touch with his first agent.
“He called, saying, ‘Robin Williams says you are going to do really well,’” Hawke said, recalling a particular scene in the movie.
“There was this scene in the film when he makes me spontaneously make up a poem in front of the class,” Hawke recalled. “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 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.”