The Stranger Things actor has officially snatched the elusive “breakout star” label—but what does that really mean?
GLAMOUR – To quote Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a TV series in possession of 40 million viewers and a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes must be in want of a Breakout Star. And for Stranger Things‘ season three, that chosen one is Maya Hawke. As Robin, the witty Scoops Ahoy coworker of Steve (Joe Keery) and the first openly queer character of the series, Hawke stands out—not an easy feat in a cast that includes David Harbour (who plays Jim Hopper), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven).
Another truth: The internet couldn’t have picked a better queen. Hawke, the 21-year-old daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, has the kind of coolness only someone who grew up in Manhattan with celebrity parents could embody. While that might manifest as intimidating or cold in others, Hawke is surprisingly approachable and energetic. And for her, being labeled the latest It girl or a breakout star is not an achievement worth putting stock into—which, of course, only makes her cooler.
“I really haven’t been paying attention to the headlines,” she tells me on the set of her Glamour shoot. “I was so scared of the fact that Stranger Things has such a wide audience that I’ve tried to duck out of paying attention to people’s reactions. The chance of people hating me in that show was just as high as people liking me in it, so I just thought I didn’t need to receive the ego boost or the ego destruction.”