Ethan Hawke has declared himself to be a proud "nepo dad".

Ethan and Maya Hawke have made a movie together

Ethan and Maya Hawke have made a movie together

The 'Black Phone' actor wrote and directed 'Wildcat', which is about US novelist Flannery O’Connor, and though he cast his daughter Maya Hawke in the lead role, he insisted the 25-year-old actress was the driving force behind the project, though he understands why they may experience a backlash.

He joked to Variety: “Put simply, I’m a nepo dad! And I’m not embarrassed about it.”

He then more seriously added: "If someone wants to criticise us for working together, that’s totally fair. You have to let people have their opinion. You just have to try to do a good job when you’re onstage.”

The 'Little Women' actress - who also served as a producer on 'Wildcat' - admitted she had "moments of insecurity" about being the director's daughter but ultimately she enjoys working with the 52-year-old star.

She said: “I had moments of insecurity about it while we were shooting the movie.

"But the internet doesn’t have a lot of nuances. My dad has been a massive teacher for me, and we want to work together. We like being with each other.”

Both Maya and Ethan were warned about working together but were baffled as to why people were concerned.

Maya said: “Before we started, everyone was asking me, ‘Are you nervous to work with your dad?’ I hadn’t thought to be.”

Ethan added: “I started thinking, ‘What am I not seeing? What am I missing?’ But this is our safe place …”

Maya continued: “… making art together."

Her dad laughed: “I mean, Thanksgiving? That’s not so safe.”

The 'Stranger Things' star - whose mother is Uma Thurman - initially tried to be more formal with her dad on set but soon realised she'd taken the wrong approach.

She recalled: “I started using his name — ‘Ethan’ — to be like, 'I’m a professional.'

"And then I realised it was actually more distracting to people. They’d be like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ So I mostly called him ‘Dad.’ "