Ethan Hawke's family hoped he would become a priest but he always knew his true calling was acting.

The 47-year-old actor portrays a priest who is having a crisis of confidence in his faith after his son dies in military service in his latest movie 'First Reformed' - which has been written and directed by 'Taxi Driver' creator Paul Schrader.

Hawke has revealed that his late great-grandmother believed he was destined to become a Christian spiritual leader from the moment he was born, and although he never got ''the calling'' he couldn't help but think of his beloved relative when he was shooting the drama.

In an interview on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers', he said: ''My great grandmother felt certain that when I was born that I would receive the calling and that I would be a priest. I remember being very concerned about, 'What is this thing, the calling?' She was like, 'God will come to you and talk to you.' And I was like, 'OK, I don't want that to happen. When will it happen?' And she was like, 'Well it will be in silence.' So I thought, 'Right, I am avoiding silence at all costs!'

''I was so happy when she decided that my calling was the arts. But when I put the collar on for this film I did think of her, like, 'Hey grandma.'''

Hawke stars in 'First Reformed' with Amanda Seyfried, Philip Ettinger and Michael Gaston and he thinks the film will resonate with audiences due to the current climate in America.

He said: ''In the film there is a young man who is suffering from severe depression over what is happening with the environment and I play this priest who takes his crisis really seriously. It's a brilliant movie and it's written by Paul Schrader who is the guy who wrote 'Taxi Driver' and 'Raging Bull'. He's a brilliant director and when I read it the script just felt as though it was giving a voice to something that a lot of people are felling right now, which is a level of anxiety about our leadership and our faith and how those things intersect with love and what we're doing. When I read it for the first time it blew me away.''