We have added some new photos from Maika’s photoshoot with John Russo 2016 for the Independence Day Resurgence promo…
Maika Monroe first came to the film world’s attention with her leading role in 2014’s It Follows. The lo-fi horror film won over critics and horror fans alike, who were looking for something with a genuine sense of, well, horror. In an age when all manner of gore and violence are just a click away, It Follows returned the genre back to its roots, reminding us that often the scariest things are those that we can’t see.
“It’s a classic,” says Maika, “there is an elegance to it, to bring that sophistication to a horror film is not easy. David [Robert Mitchell, the director] was able to accomplish that. He’s a genius, but it was definitely the hardest film I have done so far, physically and mentally. Every day was a different battle. If you look closely, you can see that my body is covered in bruises.”
She’s right, in a film culture that churns out a myriad of indistinguishable gore-porn titles a year – in between all the super-hero movies – a clever horror film is a rare creature.
So is Maika. She’s a former professional kiteboarder, an unlikely calling card for an actress, but one that requires dedicated proficiency in skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding and gymnastics. It all culminates in one very extreme, waterborne sport.
“I got into kiting when I was about 13,” says Maika.“My dad loves it, and I made him teach me as soon as I was old enough. I was a trained professional for a few years but life always seems to pull you in unexpected directions. Finding time to get into the water is hard, but when you’re passionate about something you make the time. When I’m not working I try to travel to a coast with warm water and wind.”
Following a few other roles in other low-budget films and one anomalous role in Independence Day 2, Maika is currently shooting a new film in Serbia. In the film, which is called TAU, Maika’s character befriends an AI. Over a fickle wifi connection she tells me about her experience on location. “I wasn’t sure what to expect from the city. But Belgrade is a very cool place, very raw and practically everything is covered in beautiful graffiti.”
And in the future? Her dream director to work with is Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson, an interesting split between gratuitous violence and twee mise en scène. But as demonstrated by her dramatic oscillation between blockbusters and low-budget cult classics, Maika’s definitely got the range for it.
She’s all too aware of the pitfalls of her chosen path, though, telling us that “it’s a tough career, you have to have thick skin. You hear a thousand noes in between the yesses. I think it’s important to have something you are passionate about outside of acting. Painting, music, photography. For me it’s kiteboarding, it keeps me sane.” Well, whatever it takes, right?
Every given year, thousands of fresh-faced hopefuls arrive in Hollywood dreaming of a break. For the 23rd annual Next Gen issue, THR swiped right on 20 actors who not only got that break but are breaking out. Among the actors who gathered in Los Angeles and New York for the bi-costal photoshoots: Olivia Cooke, 22, and Tye Sheridan, 19, who will share screentime in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One; Alex Wolff, 19, who will star in Patriots Day with Mark Wahlberg; and Thomas Mann, soon to be seen in Kong: Skull Island with Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson.
The talent roster was handpicked by a group of THR staffers, who spent months sifting through a sea of budding young actors to identify the most promising names, consulting with industry insiders along the way about who’s hot on producers’ casting lists. The result is a mix of indie standouts turned blockbuster stars (Me and Early and the Dying Girl’s RJ Cyler has Power Rangers up next), television breakthroughs (Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield, The Get Down’s Justice Smith) and multi-hyphenate artists (rapper and comedian Awkwafina will appear in the female Oceans Eleven spinoff).
With 10 actors at each photoshoot, the gatherings quickly turned into reunions for some (Independence Day: Resurgence co-stars Jessie Usher and Maika Monroe embraced when they first arrived at Highland Park Bowl in L.A.) and a dance party for others (the N.Y. actors got down to the ’90s hip-hop music that blasted through the speakers at The Jane Hotel). When photographer Eric Ryan Anderson brought disposable cameras to the East Coast shoot, the actors snapped away — but at first awkwardly, as some of them hadn’t ever used a camera that wasn’t digital before. Thankfully, former model Suki Waterhouse, 24, with four films on the way, was able to show them the ropes.
California-born Monroe had a moment as a creepy indie specialist in 2014, when she starred in back-to-back unexpected hits: Adam Wingard’s The Guest and David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows. After this summer’s Independence Day: Resurgence, she has a slew of films coming up, including YA adaptation The Tribes of Palos Verdes, the Watergate bio Felt and the sci-fi thriller Tau.
I’d love to have starred in: “The Shining — but I hope they never remake it!”
Movie that made you want to act: “The first film that I remember influencing me was One Flew Over the Nest. It was when I realized that film can really move people.”
Favorite splurge: “It’s usually traveling, and then shoes.”
Worst audition story: “When I was much younger, I had to do a Swedish accent for something and I just couldn’t do it. I made a complete fool of myself.”
Hollywood pet peeve: “There’s a lot of bullshit and you have to find true people. I feel lucky now because I have a really good group of friends, but you have to weed out the bad.”