Twenty-two years after Reality Bites, Lelaina and Troy are together again—sort of. Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke, who starred in the 1994 cult slacker hit, shared the stage on Monday when Ryder introduced her former co-star at the Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. “I had the great pleasure of working with him 20 years ago when we were twentysomethings,” said Ryder of Hawke. “And even back then, it never surprised me that he would go on to be a great screenwriter, novelist, that his craft would continue to grow and astonish.”
Hawke, whose more recent credits include The Magnificent Seven, In a Valley of Violence, and Born to Be Blue, was one of the recipients of three career tributes at the Gothams, alongside Amy Adams and Oliver Stone. In his acceptance speech, he looked back at his career, including the years after his film with Ryder.
“I was absolutely 100 percent convinced that I was completely washed up,” said Hawke. “Reality Bites was passé. The whole poster-boy-for–Gen X thing was done. Nobody was interested in that anymore.” Obviously, things worked out for Hawke, who, in addition to his tribute at the Gothams, has been nominated for four Oscars, plus a Tony. But Hawke noted that he finds the accolades that come with his work “unnecessary,” because he loves what he does: “I hope the next time I’m washed up that it won’t be the last time, because there are so many people here tonight that I want to work with again, who I’ve already worked with, people who I love.”
And then, just to send your Gen X nostalgia into overdrive, he topped the whole thing off with a smooch from Ryder.