Growing up with Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke as her parents, Maya Hawke has largely managed to stay out of the spotlight. But the aspiring actress is more than ready to make her big TV debut. On Boxing Day, Maya will appear in the BBC's three-part adaptation of Little Women (airing in the UK). The 19-year-old will play Jo March – the second eldest of the March sisters – in Louisa May Alcott's period novel.
Speaking to HELLO! Online and other press at the launch of the show, Maya opened up about her connection with the fiery Jo. "I've felt really connected to this character since I was a wee thing, and so when I was offered the role I didn't feel any pressure," Maya admitted, before joking: "I thought, I'm obviously the right person to play this part, so I can just go in and be myself! It felt like I had a very intimate connection with her. Only after, when I realized that everyone else thinks they're Jo too, did I start to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. But initially I was totally blind and gleefully ready to be involved."
Maya stars alongside Emily Watson, who plays her mother Marmee, Angela Lansbury, who plays her cantankerous wealthy Aunt March, and Michael Gambon, who plays the Marchs' neighbour, Mr Laurence. Maya revealed that her dad Ethan, of Boyhood and The Magnificent Seven fame, joined her on set one day when she was filming a scene with Dame Angela. "I had the privilege of filming a scene with Angela, and I also had my father there watching… It was an interesting day," she mused.
Annes Elwy, who plays her younger sister Beth, opened up about the immediate connection between the Little Women. "The bond is a bit insane. They know more about me than anybody in the world and I think, likewise," she said. "We started off from day one sharing things that we'd never shared with anyone before, and from that point on, there was no point in having any less interesting conversations. We'd always quiz each other about our favourite things, or hated things and we shared the most intimate secrets and our hopes, and we are forever intertwined."
Little Women airs on BBC One on Boxing Day at 8pm, over the course of three days.