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Maya Hawke: "We tell stories in order to survive our own lives, not escape it"

Maya Hawke on Portraying Flannery O’Connor in the Ethan Hawke-directed Wildcat

Maya Hawke joins Kyle Meredith With… to discuss her role in Wildcat, a film that doubles as a biopic of novelist Flannery O’Connor and a showcase of her Southern Gothic short stories. Co-starring Laura Linney and Steve Zahn, and directed by Ethan Hawke, the project offers a deep dive into O’Connor’s life and work.

The Stranger Things star shares how reading O’Connor in high school left a profound impact on her, which eventually led her to pass along the author’s prayer journal to her father. This familial exchange sparked the idea to adapt O’Connor’s story into a film. Hawke elaborates on the creative decision to play multiple characters and tackles the film’s exploration of heavy themes like racism and white hypocrisy.

Hawke also reveals how she discovered the voice and rhythm of O’Connor, drawing parallels between this form of writing and her own songwriting—an insight especially relevant with her album Chaos Angel. She goes on to discuss the possibility that the film industry might be on the brink of a new era for indie movies, emphasizing the importance of such personal and impactful projects.

Watch the interview above and then check out the trailer below.

Kyle is the WFPK Music Director. Email Kyle at kmeredith@lpm.org

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