Hawke continued: The parts that were most challenging, (which you thought were the most difficult), were where the most growth happened. I'm very grateful to my craft and my profession because it allows you to meet all kinds of people.
"Life is a lot like building a spider web. You kind of jump from one corner to the next," Hawke told IANS in an exclusive interview while looking back at his journey from a child actor to a star.
"The little journeys don't seem significant (at that moment). But (when you) look back and when we see the whole journey, you see how they are all connected to each other. It can be very beautiful," he added.
Hawke continued: "The parts that were most challenging, (which you thought were the most difficult), were where the most growth happened. I'm very grateful to my craft and my profession because it allows you to meet all kinds of people."
Hawke's tryst with Hollywood started as a baby-faced child in "Explorers", in 1985. He went on to make a breakthrough with his appearance in 1989 with "Dead Poets Society".
After a multi-decade journey, Hawke has evolved as an Oscar-nominated leading star, critical writer and director passionate about the stories he wants to tell.
Some of his performances that are carved in public memory include the narcotics officer in "Training Day", the hopeless romantic in the "Before Sunrise" franchise, the tormented Father Toller in 2018 film "First Reformed", and a bizarrely imagined time travelling agent in "Predestination".
"I have worked with directors from all over the world, in many different languages and many different points of view. I have played characters that bring me and my imagination deep into, whether it's playing a World War 2 soldier or a jazz musician or a Russian communist, or so many of the characters that expand my education. I have been so grateful to that," he said.
Hawke says he likes to delve into projects he is passionate about.
"I try to spend as little time as possible doing things I'm not passionate about. I'm not that good. The funny thing is that I'm not good enough to do anything well that I don't have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for. So, my whole life, I've just been following my nose and hoping that what turns me on, might turn other people on," said the 49-year-old.
Passion is what drew him towards his latest project -- "The Good Lord Bird". The limited series is based on a novel by James McBride, and is infused with themes of racism, religion and gender.
The story is told from the point of view of Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson) a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of John Brown's family of abolitionist soldiers.
Talking about the show, the Academy nominated star said: "When you are playing someone who really existed, it is always a little different than if you're just making up a character on your own. You have to step into someone's shadow. One of the things that was important to me was the realisation that I wasn't playing John Brown, the man who lived and breathed. I was playing John Brown as invented by James McBride… I just tried to read as much as I could and have as much fun as possible."
Besides starring as John Brown, Hawke has executive produced and co-created the show, currently available in India on Voot Select.