Actress and singer Maya Hawke recently opened up about her dyslexia, calling it ‘one of the greatest blessings in my life.’
“It took me a long time to learn how to read”
The Stranger Things actress recently sat down for an interview with NPR to promote her Debut album, Blush. Speaking about living with the learning disorder, which makes reading, spelling and writing a task, Hawke revealed that her dyslexia is “one of the great blessings of my life in a lot of ways.” Even though it was “deeply difficult” growing up.
“I did get, like, kicked out of school for not being able to read when I was a kid,” she recalled. “I went to a special school for kids with learning disabilities. And it took me a long time to learn how to read, and I still am limited.”
She continued, “The wonderful thing about today’s world is that there are so many options. There’s something about having had a limitation in regards to my ability to produce and take in stories. It made me even more determined to love them and understand them and grow in them,” she said.
“My parents did a wonderful job of encouraging me to be creative
Although school could be challenging with a learning disorder at her age, Maya praised her parents, Hollywood stars, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, for their love and support.
She went on to describe the struggle she had to go through as well as the bullying that she had to endure during that period of time. “It was deeply difficult, you know, to be in the slow class,” the singer confessed. “Every grade that went by, you get dropped down into a lower and lower reading group. And other kids find out. And there’s bullying in place. But my parents did a wonderful job of encouraging me to be creative,” she added.
“Jo was a big inspiration to me”
One of the instances where Hawke talked about dyslexia in her line of work, was when she spoke about playing the role of Jo March in the 2017 miniseries adaptation Little Women. And how her Dyslexia made the role even more meaningful.
Maya admitted in a 2019 interview, “Jo was a big inspiration to me as far as having the drive and the passion to pursue my love for reading and writing. Even when it was challenging.” Sharing that the classic book was one of the first she read by herself after being diagnosed as a child.
“My Dad is such a special filmmaker”
The star has been keeping busy in quarantine by letting her creative juices flow, especially while making music with her family. Back in March, earlier this year, Hawke shared a video of herself singing with sisters Clementine and Indiana, brother Levon, as well as her father.
Maya talked about her father, The Before Trilogy actor, Ethan Hawke, who directed the music video for her song Coverage. Which was made at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘COVID had just really hit. So I did these live videos with my family,’ she began. ‘But people call it a music video, I think, because, like, my dad is such a special filmmaker. Even with, like, an iPhone and 10 minutes to prepare, and me telling everyone we’re going to play the song in the barn. And me asking, ‘Dad, will you make a video?’, his brain turns on and he goes, OK,’
Explaining how she landed on the title of her album
Speaking further about her venture into music with her debut album, Blush, she revealed that the title of her album came from a lyric in the song Coverage. Which she added, is the only song on the album about acting.
“Where the title really comes from for me is about this idea of embarrassment. Most people wouldn’t describe me as a particularly shameful or shy person,” Maya admitted. “But I actually walk through my life feeling tremendously embarrassed most of the time. I talked too loud at a party or said something stupid or, you know, whatever it is,” she shared.
“So that’s part of what it means. And the other part of what it means is that blush is simultaneously a revealing thing. Like, when you blush, you’re revealing something about yourself, something personal. And it’s also a mask, like if you put on blush or makeup. It’s a mask. It hides your face, your feelings,’ Hawke continued.
Apart from her role as Robin in the popular Netflix drama series, Stranger Things, Maya has also starred in movies like Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Hawke’s debut album Blush came out on 21st August.