For Maya Hawke, Honesty and Beauty Go Hand-in-HandFor our Beauty issue, the musician and actor shares a playlist of songs that she loves for their candor.

“I get to know myself better through music, and I get to know the world better through acting,” says Maya Hawke. “Those two things fuel each other beautifully.”

The Stranger Things star, who recently appeared in Bradley Cooper’s Oscar-nominated Maestro, voices the character Anxiety in Pixar’s Inside Out 2, which hits theaters in June. Hawke, though, has been making music and writing poetry with her dad, actor Ethan Hawke (her mom is Uma Thurman), since she was a kid. On May 31, she will release her third album, Chaos Angel, a collection of 10 intimate, lushly layered songs anchored by Hawke’s diaristic lyrics, which explore the ways we learn from upheaval and heartache and gain a greater understanding of ourselves. “This record is about recontextualizing things I thought were mistakes and recontextualizing the ways in which relationships ended and what came of them,” she says. “At one point, I’d never been in a relationship that lasted longer than a year, and I was having a lot of self-doubt about why and what I was doing wrong. Then I started to realize that all of my relationships that had ended had blossomed into these beautiful friendships. I realized that what I’d seen as a bad thing had led to so much good in my life.”

There’s NOTHING more BEAUTIFUL to me than HONESTY.”

Next year, Stranger Things will return for a fifth season, in which Hawke will reprise her role as the witty and tenacious Robin Buckley. She also has two movies on the horizon: Revolver, about a Beatles megafan, in which she stars alongside her dad; and Wilder & Me, about a young musician in the 1970s who begins working with famed film director Billy Wilder and his screenwriter Iz Diamond. Asked what draws her to a script, Hawke replies, “My answer from the beginning of my career has never changed: good writing and characters who are active participants in the unfolding of their own destiny.”

For the May 2024 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Hawke curated a playlist around the theme of beauty, choosing songs that have resonated with her due to their directness and candor. “There’s nothing more beautiful to me than honesty,” she explains. Along with Samia’s “Breathing Song” and Adrianne Lenker’s “Indiana,” Hawke included “Am I Too Blue” by folk-rock icon Lucinda Williams. “I saw her in concert last year, and she was still recovering from a stroke,” Hawke says of Williams. “Her resilience, her energy, and her voice are all beautiful.”


Listen to Maya Hawke’s playlist exclusively on Apple Music.

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Ariana Marsh is Harper Bazaar’s senior features editor. Working across print and digital, she covers the arts, culture, fashion, literature, and entertainment—and a bit of everything in between.