Ethan Hawke has opened up about his memories of working with Robin Williams revealing the late actor mercilessly ''teased'' him on the set of their 1989 movie 'Dead Poets Society'.

The 47-year-old actor has nothing but fond memories of working with Robin - who tragically took his own life in 2014 at the age 63 - on the Oscar winning movie and can recall him being ''incredibly funny'' and always aiming to make the cast laugh on set.

But as it was his first big movie role, Ethan was focused on cementing a reputation as a ''serious actor'' so he tried not to laugh at his jokes.

Speaking on 'The Graham Norton Show', he said: ''Robin was incredibly funny, relaxed and inventive and improvised constantly. The more the crew laughed the more he performed. But I really wanted to be a serious actor and had read Stanislavski. I wanted to be in character so didn't laugh at him. The funnier he was, the more steam came out of my ears. He really teased me about it and I thought he hated me.''

However, the two soon became friends and Ethan credits him for kick-starting his career after Robin urged his own agent to represent him as he believed Ethan had the potential to become a big star.

He added: ''After the movie ['Dead Poets Society'] came out I got a call from Robin's agent asking to represent me as Robin had told him I was going to be someone one day. He was a lovely, gentle man.''

And Ethan said he was almost ready to give up acting before making his breakthrough in the movie and was ready to ''join the marines'' instead.

He said: ''That film was 'make or break' for me. I told my sister that if I didn't get the role then I would join the marines or something.''