“We’re like boring, indie Kardashians,” Maya, 25, joked about her relatives in a Variety interview with Ethan, 52, published on Tuesday, September 5. Maya is the oldest child of the Dead Poets Society actor and Uma Thurman, who were married from 1998 to 2005 and also share son Levon, 21.
“I’ve been caught by the paparazzi openly flirting with Rihanna,” Ethan joked. “Openly trying to,” Maya clarified.
The father-daughter duo kept up with the jokes even while discussing the challenges they faced when filming their new movie Wildcat, which is about American novelist Flannery O’Connor.
“Put simply, I’m a nepo dad! And I’m not embarrassed about it,” Ethan quipped, before getting serious: “If someone wants to criticize us for working together, that’s totally fair. You have to let people have their opinion. You just have to try to do a good job when you’re on stage.”
However, Maya had “some moments of insecurity” during production because of it. “The internet doesn’t have a lot of nuances. My dad has been a massive teacher for me, and we want to work together. We like being with each other.”
The actress has previously opened up about how her parents’ fame has given her “massive advantages in life” and doesn’t want to take her privilege for granted.
“I feel like the only way to handle the nepotism thing — which definitely gives you massive advantages in this life — is [recognizing that] you will get chances for free, but the chances will not be infinite,” she explained in an interview with Rolling Stone in September 2022. “So you have to keep working and do a good job. If you do a bad job, the chances will stop. That’s my ethos.”
Maya rose to fame for her role as Robin Buckley on Stranger Things in 2016 and has starred in other major productions including 2017’s Little Women, 2022’s Do Revenge and 2023’s Asteroid City. Although Ethan and Thurman, 53, were uncertain about her launching an acting career, they have now grown more supportive.
“They were wary of the public life side of acting and the difficulties of that. They also tried to protect me from falling into acting,” Maya told The Guardian in October 2021. “They wanted to ensure I had a strong enough backbone, my own passion for it and work ethic. They didn’t want to cart me along every red carpet or have me do bit-parts in their movies. Once I was old enough, and it was clear they were my choices, they were very supportive.”