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Ethan Hawke Admits Flirting With Rihanna Has ‘Been to the Family Shame’

Ethan Hawke is sorry/not sorry he tried to flirt with Rihanna at the 2015 NBA All-Star game. In an interview with Variety alongside his daughter Maya Hawke, the actor recalled the moment, which was famously captured on camera.

“I’ve been caught by the paparazzi openly flirting with Rihanna,” Hawke admitted in the interview. Maya chimed in, “Trying to.”

Hawke accepted the correction. “Trying to flirt,” he continued. “So that’s been to the family shame, so you’re really touching a nerve.” Maya, however, replied, “No, it’s family pride.”

At the time, Hawke posted a series of photos on his Instagram page with an apology to his son Levon, who he made swap seats so he could speak with Rihanna. “After Rihanna’s brilliant half time performance, I’m hoping my son can find it in his heart to forgive a Dad for taking his moment,” Hawke wrote.

Elsewhere in the interview, Variety asked if Hawke would prefer to go to a Rihanna concert or a Lady Gaga concert. Maya replied that he would, of course, pick Rihanna, while Hawke said “both.”

“I have been to a Lady Gaga concert and I haven’t been to a RiRi concert,” Hawke told his daughter. “I took you to Lady Gaga.” Maya quickly reminded him that this wasn’t true. “Oh no, we went to see Madonna, and we [were] sitting next to Lady Gaga,” Hawke corrected himself.


“We did have an amazing year where we went to Madonna, Taylor [Swift], and Adele, and it was a highly educational, very motivational year for me,” Maya added. “It was some very good fathering. Well, we gotta go see Rihanna next.” 

The duo are currently promoting their new film, Wildcat, which was directed by Hawke and stars Maya as author Flannery O’Connor. Hawke will also star in Leave the World Behind, an adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s bestselling novel, in December.

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