Ethan Hawke was convinced Robin Williams hated him when they worked together in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society.

The 50-year-old American actor had a breakout part in the film in which Williams played an inspirational teacher at an all-boys school.

Hawke has revealed that their chemistry wasn't quite right off-screen, but came to realise later what the source of the problem was.

Robin Williams in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society

Speaking during a Q&A at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Hawke said, according to Variety: "I thought Robin [Williams] hated me.

"He had a habit of making a ton of jokes on set. At 18, I found that incredibly irritating. He wouldn't stop and I wouldn't laugh at anything he did.

"There was this scene in the film when he makes me spontaneously make up a poem in front of the class. He made this joke at the end of it, saying that he found me intimidating. I thought it was a joke.

"As I get older, I realise there is something intimidating about young people's earnestness, their intensity."

The cast of Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke pictured in the centre

Despite not quite seeing eye-to-eye, it was Williams who got Hawke his first agent.

The representative contacted Hawke and told him: "Robin Williams says you are going to do really well."

Hawke was honoured with the President's Award at the Czech film festival.

For more movies news click here