Not part of the parenting plan! Ethan Hawke takes a backseat when it comes to his children’s love lives.
The 48-year-old Oscar winner, who shares daughter Maya, 20, and son Levon, 16, with ex-wife Uma Thurman, lets his kids chart their own paths. “One of the most important things about being a parent when people go through adolescence is that advise only when asked,” Hawke recently told Us Weekly exclusively. “Teenagers sniff out hypocrisy. You can tell someone not to smoke all you want, but if you smoke, they won’t care. You can say to them not to lie, but if you lie, it doesn’t matter, and if you don’t lie, you don’t have to tell them.”
He added: “Every time I try to offer my daughter advice, she says, ‘You think I don’t know that? You think I don’t know that that’s what you think? I’ve been living with you all these years, I know exactly what you think! Doesn’t mean I want to do it!’”
The Rules for a Knight author divorced Thurman, 48, in 2005 after seven years of marriage. He married Ryan Shawhughes Hawke in 2008 and the pair share daughters Clementine, 10, and Indiana, 7.
Hawke prefers plays over films at this point in his career so he can spend more time with his little ones. “I always say [plays are] better, but my wife says it’s not because it steals your soul,” he joked to Us. “Every day is priority around 8 o’clock.”
The Gattaca star also loves taking on new projects and embraces aging in the industry. “There are certain things you lose [when you get older], but anyone who has an over-worshipful relationship to their youth doesn’t remember what it’s like to be young,” he explained. “We’re all scared of dying, but being young has its own traps and difficulties. I’m much happier now.”
Hawke doesn’t mind watching himself get older on the big screen, but he sympathizes with his female costars who struggle with this. “For women, it’s really hard all the time. Male actors, I think, have a better understanding of what the average women goes through, just because people talk about it so much,” her told Us. “But it doesn’t bother men because it’s reality and people are so scared of reality, but it’s just the truth. You know, the option is dying. Do you want to be James Dean? I was friends with River Phoenix. I’m grateful to be 48 years old.”
With reporting by Nicki Gostin
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!