Ethan Hawke was unwavering in his determination to attend the premiere of his latest film, “Wildcat.”
PEOPLE magazine had an exclusive conversation with the 52-year-old star, known for his role in “Strange Way of Life,” as he graced the red carpet alongside his daughter, actress Maya Hawke, at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada on Monday.
During the event, when the “Stranger Things” actress was questioned about the rumor that her father had taken a Greyhound bus to ensure his presence at the annual gathering, she confirmed, “He did! Everyone’s talking about it!”
“He had to take the bus here ‘cause all the flights got canceled,” she added, with her proud father smiling by her side.
“Three flights canceled, then I was like, ‘I’m not gonna miss this because of some airport'” Ethan said.
The Emmy Award winner went on to say, “So, I went to port authority and hopped the bus.”
Ethan assured PEOPLE that he wasn’t alone during his journey, mentioning that his wife and producing partner joined him for the ride.
When asked if he was recognized by any of the other passengers onboard or at the station, he didn’t seem to think his celebrity mattered to his fellow travelers, who were probably more concerned with reaching their own destinations.
Ethan noted that on the bus, passengers generally seemed unconcerned about one another, emphasizing the discomfort of that mode of transportation.
He reiterated the lack of attention from fellow travelers, sharing that he spent the journey reading a book and quietly hoping they would reach their destination. According to him, it wasn’t until they reached customs just before dawn that someone finally recognized him.
The father-daughter duo expressed their sentiments about collaborating on the project. Maya, 25, described the film-making process as incredibly special and one of the most significant experiences of her life.
Maya also commented on the significance of premiering “Wildcat” at TIFF in the context of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
Maya expressed, “To get to be at this festival and to have approval from our union during a strike, to be here and celebrate film and independent film and to get to see this movie in an audience, which is so rare now, is just the ultimate privilege.”
Ethan, standing beside his daughter, expressed his deep pride in all her accomplishments. In return, Maya conveyed her own pride in him, creating a moment of mutual admiration.
Once inside the event, he briefly addressed the audience before introducing the film.
“If you see anything else tonight, what you’re going to see is a young artist just circle around their father and sprint out the door, pat him on the a– as she goes by,” he humorously remarked about Maya’s role in “Wildcat,” eliciting laughter from the audience.
The accomplished actor continued to praise his eldest child’s work on the project, saying, “This is one of my favorite performances I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait for you guys to see it.”
“Wildcat” tells the story of American novelist Flannery O’Connor as she navigates the challenges of publishing her first book, with Maya in the lead role and Ethan serving as the film’s director.