Lumet's movies include "Prince of the City," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Serpico," "12 Angry Men" and "Murder on the Orient Express."
His latest, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" -- in which Hawke stars with Philip Seymour Hoffman -- is earning rave reviews.
"To be honest, you don't know when you work with an old master, whether or not ... how present they're going to be, how resting on their laurels they're going to be," Hawke told UPI.
"A lot of people who have already won every major award in their profession get a little bored. It happens. They lose their hunger and drive and their curiosity," said Hawke. "But Sidney, there is a reason why he wins all these lifetime achievement awards. Because he is unlike anybody else. He is a real professional and he treats this like a craft. He's a throwback."
Hawke said Lumet is one of the few filmmakers still working who came from live television.
"That's what is so exciting about getting to be a part of this kind of re-emergence Sidney."