"When we were first splitting up, it broke her heart because she just didn't know anybody else," Hawke said in an interview with “Nightline.” "She was the only kid in her kindergarten whose parents weren't together, and it was really hard for her, and now she's a junior in high school and she helps her friends."
"I had this realization that I thought I was being offered a job that I'm not sure any actor had ever been offered before, to get to create a character and be able to use time to create them," Hawke said.
Hawke and his wife Ryan Shawhuges Hawke, whom he jokingly called the "CEO" of their family, have been married now for more than six years and have two young daughters together. Ryan is currently working on a documentary called "Seymour," about an 87-year-old concert pianist who suffered from horrible stage fright.
"What makes our family work is you can't have one person be creative inside a couple, and traveling a lot, and expect to have a home life if somebody isn't taking care of a sense of balance," Hawke said. "There are so many different levels. Who's managing our money and paying our taxes? A sense of balance that needs to happen. And she makes that happen for me anyway."
"The funny thing for me is, I've known this kid, Ellar Coltrane, since he was 6 years old, and now he's going through the same experience I went through when I was 18... 'Dead Poets Society' came out when I was 18," Hawke said.
Through the twists and turns of his career, and his love life, Hawke has found a role that is most meaningful to him - being a father to his kids.
"A lot of things happened in my life over the last decade, but there's only one thing that has really been consistent, and that's them," he said. "I would do interviews and stuff, and they ask me about movies... It's really not what's really happening ever in my life. What's really been happening in my life is being a father. That's been the most important thing. And this movie ["Boyhood"] gave me an opportunity to place all those feelings and all those experiences into a narrative."