Hawke has been nominated for four Academy Awards, for his turn in Training Day and his screenwriting on Before Sunset and Before Midnight, as well as his acclaimed role in Boyhood, which pitched him in the Best Supporting Actor category at the 2015 ceremony.

He was beaten to the trophy by Whiplash star J.K. Simmons, and Hawke admits the loss has spurred him on to land more unsuccessful nominations, telling British newspaper the London Evening Standard, "(Awards are) just a distraction... So much mediocrity is strung up the flagpole. I'd rather not win. One of my acting ambitions is to beat Peter O'Toole who got eight nominations and never won."

O'Toole, who died in 2013, eventually accepted an honorary Academy Award in 2003 to recognise his career achievements.