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Ethan Hawke Claims ‘Frontal Lobe Was Not Finished’ When He Married Uma Thurman

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Ethan Hawke for ELLE (Jerry Avenaim)

Ethan Hawke has played many a romantic lead over the course of his career, but that doesn't mean he hasn't made his share of relationship mistakes in real life. In fact, he's made some big ones ... like marrying Uma Thurman, apparently.

In an interview with Elle magazine, the "Getaway" star opened up about his first marriage, which he jumped into when he was only 27 but already a Hollywood heavyweight. According to Hawke, his early fame may have played a part in his decision to tie the knot.

"Success when you're young is really overwhelming," he recalled. "The world felt out of control. And I wanted to stop it from spinning so fast. I thought marriage would decrease my variables or something. I was absolutely wrong."

[Related: 25 Secrets of Healthy Relationships]

So, why was he wrong? "There was a discovery that the male brain isn't done until 28," he explained before adding, "I definitely think my frontal lobe was not finished. I had no business taking vows that would last more than two weeks."

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Hawke and Uma Thurman, in happier days (Getty Images)

Hawke's marriage to Thurman lasted a little longer than two weeks — they married in May 1998 and made it work until 2003 when they separated. (Hawke has denied rumors that a reported affair with a 22-year-old model ended his marriage to Thurman.) Their divorce was finalized in August 2005.

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But there is one person in the public eye whom Hawke thinks has the proper approach to relationships. "The guy who's got it right is Derek Jeter," the star revealed. "He lives his life like, 'Hey man, I play shortstop for the New York Yankees. And I'm not going to get married until I'm no longer a shortstop for the New York Yankees.' Which is incredibly smart."

But Hawke is (older) and wiser about things now, and approached his second marriage — to Ryan Shawhughes, his children's former nanny — in a different way.

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"Through the failure of my first marriage I learned a lot about myself. Until you know yourself, you don't know how to share your life with another person," he reflects. "And this may sound too self help-y, but when I was a young man, I had all these ideas about who I wanted to be. But they weren't totally rooted in the truth."

In other words, the failure of his first union wasn't Uma's fault. It was the natural result of Hawke's youth and fame ... and under-developed brain.

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