The stars gathered with castmate Janeane Garofalo, screenwriter Helen Childress, and producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher for a special panel discussion following a screening of the 1994 romantic comedy, which Stiller also directed, and during the chat, Hawke insisted he owed his critically-acclaimed role - and ultimately career - to Ryder.
"I'm indebted. Winona believed in me. Winona got me this job," he shared. "This job changed the trajectory of my career entirely... I'm just so grateful to you Winona."
Agreeing with Hawke, Stiller said, "It also changed the trajectory of my career. None of it would have happened if Winona wouldn't have said, 'I want to do this movie.' It just wouldn't have happened."
Blushing at the high praise, the "Stranger Things" actress insisted they all needed to be on board to turn it into the box office success it was.
"I feel like the lucky one," she declared. "I feel like it couldn't have been made without every ingredient up here. I am so, so grateful."
Stiller also used the opportunity to express regret at one aspect of his filmmaking: "I just want to maybe apologise for the way the film fetishises smoking," he told the audience. "It's out of control the amount of close-ups of cigarettes and cigarettes going into mouths."
Ticketholders at the special event were also treated to a surprise performance by Lisa Loeb, who took the stage as the film's credits rolled to sing "Stay (I Missed You)", which featured on the "Reality Bites" soundtrack.