Ethan Hawke Didn’t Expect ‘Boyhood’ to Win Awards or Be Critically Acclaimed (Video)

Actor says 11-year filming experience felt like a “radical ’60s film experiment or something; it didn’t feel like a proper movie”

Critics and fans may not have been surprised to hear that “Boyhood” was named the best film by the New York Film Critics Association on Monday, but its star certainly was.

Ethan Hawke dropped by ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where he said of the accolades the film has received, “When we started this, I don’t think anybody in their wildest fascination would have ever thought this was gonna happen with this movie.”

Richard Linklater, who also took home best director, spent 11 years filming the movie with his stars, which made for a unique experience as a filmmaker, and as a performer. Hawke portrays the father of the film’s young star, Ellar Coltrane, who was aged seven when filming began.

“When it started, it seemed like it was some kind of radical ’60s film experiment or something; it didn’t seem like a proper movie,” Hawke told Kimmel. “I’d go do scenes from it and I would come back and people would say, What are you doing? I’d say, Oh I did this thing with Linklater. When’s it coming out? Oh in about, you know, 11 years.”

In fact, Hawke said the whole project never really felt like a job until the film came out and the cast had to start going around and promoting it through talk show appearances and press junkets.

“Releasing the movie is really way more intense than making it. Making it was really fun. I know it sounds weird, but when something’s not coming out for six, seven, eight, nine, ten years, you don’t really worry about how it’s gonna go,” Hawke said. “I mean it’s probably gonna fall apart anyway. So we just had a lot of fun.”

Instead of falling apart, “Boyhood” came together as one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, with its eye on Oscar gold.

Watch the interview here.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.