Maika Monroe Online | Maika-Monroe.Org
Welcome to Maika-Monroe.Org your #1 fansite for the beautiful and talented actress. Most recently known for playing Patricia Whitmore in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) and previously known for playing Jay in It Follows (2014) and Anna in The Guest (2014) but you may also know her from her work in Labor Day (2013) and At Any Price (2012). Maika also starred as Ringer in The 5th Wave (2016) last year, and up next Maika will star in Felt (2017) with Liam Neeson and I'm not Here (2017) with J.K. Simmons. Please browse and visit our image gallery while we will continue to bring you daily Maika updates xoxo
Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Maika Monroe is patient with me. My iPhone 5 is on its last legs, liberally censoring an already stilted conversation between two strangers (three if you include her manager). Monroe’s voice is cool
and self-assured, with a shade of sweetness that fluctuates somewhere between hesitation and modesty. Perhaps this is an adaptation of 
media training, a way to circumvent the extraneous prying questions of another caffeine-addled journalist on a 10 a.m. call. The sweetness feels a little evasive at times, but maybe she’s shy. Or maybe she’s a genuinely kind person, and amidst my phone-fumbling anxiety, I am reading too much into it. I catch ev-ry oth-r w-rd as her voice crackles in and out, so I spastically swing my arm around until I find that sharply angled sweet spot between AT&T and outer space. When I hit it, her voice erupts into the room with alarming clarity—“My mom is a sign language interpreter and my dad is a general contractor, so they are really far away from anything in the arts.” Thank god. She’s still at the beginning. I only missed the previews.

At fourteen years old, Santa Barbara-native Monroe was taking dance classes while in hot pursuit of a career as a professional kite- boarder. But when the casting directors for Bad Blood (a schlocky horror flick with a nearly un-findable IMDB page) contacted Monroe’s dance studio requesting teenage extras that could swing dance, she found herself suddenly positioned on a new trajectory. “It was one of those moments in your life that changes everything. You’re on one path—at least it seems like you are—and then a moment changes everything.” She was quickly hooked on moviemaking. “We got to see all the fake gore. It was fascinating to watch. I would hang out with the director 
and watch the monitors, and I thought it was so cool. After that, I was like, ‘Oh, I want to try to do this!’” So Monroe gave it a try. A handful of years later, she found herself at Cannes Film Festival for her lead performance as Jay in the acclaimed indie horror hit It Follows.

Although Bad Blood was her first taste of acting, Monroe was no stranger to the world of cinema. As a daughter of a film-buff dad, she was watching Kubrick films long before getting her driver’s permit. Unlike myself, who walked away from The Shining with a newfound fear of bathtubs, Monroe came away with a lifelong crush on Jack Nicholson. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was really influential to me. I remember seeing that and thinking, ‘Oh my god! This is insane!’” Her performances in the horror films It Follows and The Guest resulted in her coronation as a ‘scream queen’ by film critics. Her fluency in the horror genre may be, in part, influenced by her lifelong study of Nicholson, of his charming composure that masks Rube-Goldberg-esque machinations of madness—the barometer of said madness being best measured in the degree of his pointed eyebrows. Although her roles so far might align her with the Shelley Duvall camp of 
the female character fleeing in terror from an evil force, she adopts
 a more Nicholsonian approach in her performances: a composure 
and determination that adds agency to what would otherwise be the “screaming damsel” role.

Ten years ago, the title of “scream queen” would have been a something of a backhanded compliment. With most horror films occupying the “cheap thrills” seat in the cinema canon, genre-actors were often subject to a double standard, where an otherwise strong performance might be seen as campy or amateurish because of the perception of horror as being somehow lowbrow. Even The Shining was panned by many critics when it was released—Nicholson’s performance was called “idiotic,” Duvall was lambasted as a “semi-retarded hysteric,” and Kubrick’s vision was accused of “cheapening” King’s original story. After It Follows became one of the rare horror films to earn a place at Cannes, the tides began to change—now, horror is invading the art house indie scene. Monroe is fortunate to be unbound by the antiquated criticism of horror, but her ascent has not been without its obstacles. “I definitely feel that there’s a double standard in Hollywood. I remember people telling me that for women, you have to make it by the time you’re 25, while for men it kind of doesn’t really matter. I always thought that was so frustrating that people would say that to me. So many times in movies a guy is 40 and the girl that he’s dating is 20. It’s annoying.” Amen. Remember Mrs. Robinson? That iconic, lusty cougar played by Anne Bancroft in The Graduate? Bancroft was 36 and Dustin Hoffman (playing a recent college graduate) was 30 years old. So, here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.

“Acting is everybody’s favorite second job.” Another truism from the book of Nicholson. At
seventeen, while she was still 
flirting with the idea of acting, Monroe moved to the Dominican Republic to pursue a career as a professional kite-boarder. But when she landed the starring role of Mandy in Labor Day, she was forced to choose between her first and second favorite job. Ultimately, the seduction of Hollywood drew her back to the golden coast. Although she left the world of kite-boarding, her disciplined athleticism is one of her greatest assets as an actress. She performs the majority of her own stunts in action films like 2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence, the surfing film The Tribe of Palos Verdes, and the Netflix sci-fi thriller Tau—roles that have brought her right to the cusp of household-name stardom. Her IMDB page sports an impressive 27 films, with seven stacked to release in 2018-19 alone. So what can we look forward to? A drama entitled Greta co- starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert. A stylized home invasion thriller called Villains alongside fellow horror It-boy Bill Skarsgård. She also touches upon Shia LaBeouf’s new film, Honey Boy—a masturbatory, delightfully Freudian project in which LaBeouf plays his own father and Lucas Hedges plays a young Shia. I sincerely can’t wait.

In her most recent film, 
Monroe was cast as the Cape Cod 
heart-throb McKayla Strawberry in A24’s Hot Summer Nights. The film is a genre-spanning, early ’90s period piece following the lives of teenagers in the summer months before Hurricane Bob. The pathetic fallacy of 
the eminent hurricane serves as the backdrop for protagonist Daniel (Timothée Chalamet), who gets in over his head dealing weed with the roguishly handsome neighborhood bad-boy Hunter Strawberry (Alex Roe). Hunter, like most machismo-driven grease monkeys, is wholly insensitive, yet hyper-protective of his younger sister McKayla, who Daniel inevitably falls for. The story is told in the style of the The Virgin Suicides: an unseen adolescent boy narrates the film’s action with the nostalgic fanfare of suburban legend. Older teens are deities. The line is blurred between truth and fiction.

We all knew a McKayla Strawberry, a girl whose small-town mythology gave her the aura of celebrity. In one scene, McKayla sticks her gum to the underside of a mailbox. As soon as her back is turned, a local boy eagerly peels it off and puts it in his mouth. How do you embody such a magnetic character? In Monroe’s opinion, it was about understanding McKayla’s vulnerabilities. “There are glimpses of the character when she talks about her past, and for me, if I lost my mom at the age of 12 or 13, it would really change who I am right now… there’s a certain toughness, and a sense of just growing up too fast.” So vulnerability is the key to aura? Vulnerability seems like half an answer: it’s too passive, too safe. There is an active ingredient in her performance that she doesn’t address. In a defining scene between Monroe and Chalamet, Daniel is sucking on a red lollipop when he 
runs into McKayla in the aisle of a hardware store. With the cinematic fanfare of Phoebe Cates emerging from the pool in Fast Times, the slow motion camera closes in on McKayla’s face as she takes the lollipop out of Daniel’s mouth, gives it a prolonged suck while starring straight down the barrel of the camera, and puts it right back in his mouth. “When we filmed it, I wasn’t even looking at Timo, just our DP Javier. It wasn’t sexy or cool at all.”

Lollipops aside, we discuss the unmistakable chemistry among the cast of Hot Summer Nights. Filming in Atlanta with the entire cast living in a house together, “it felt like summer camp.” A unique aspect of the production: everyone who worked on the film—cast, producer, and director—were all under thirty while filming. Directing his debut film, Elijah Bynum was actually only one-year-old during the year in which the film takes place. Between Stranger Things, It, and Hot Summer Nights—what is the millennial fascination for the ’80s and ’90s? Why do we have nostalgia for a time period we didn’t live in? “For me, the biggest thing that has happened in
 this generation is technology. 
It makes me miss a time of sending letters. Just always being connected, and all this information is so immediate. 
I think about being in a time where you read the newspaper and if you’re in a relationship and you go on a trip you can’t text and talk all the time. I don’t know if it’s that way for everyone, but it seems like such a huge change that we’ve had.” With smartphones in existence, modern story telling lacks the suspense and mystique 
at the core of all comedy and tragedy. Would we have a third act of Romeo and Juliet if the Friar could SMS our star-crossed lover about his roofied young bride? If James Caan’s character inMisery had “find your friends” on his iPhone? 
If the killers in Scream had caller ID? “I totally agree, it’s too easy!” Monroe laughs as
 we lament the loss of narrative intrigue through good ol’ fashioned miscommunication. I smile to myself, reminded of the technological difficulties
 at the top of our conversation. Maybe our miscommunications added just a shade of intrigue to an otherwise uneventfully pleasant exchange? Maybe not.

With such a rookie team at the helm of a big-budget production like Hot Summer Nights, I ask Monroe if she thinks this hints at a greater shift in the entertainment industry. “I think the next generation is going to start”—she searches for the right word—“I don’t want to say “taking over” because that sounds negative—but I think the way that movies are made is rapidly changing. Now with TV and streaming services it’s just a different world. I feel like we have these amazing actors, like Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney and Meryl Streep, and I think it’s time for the young blood to come up. It’s exciting.”

From Bad Blood to “young blood,” Monroe finds herself at the
edge of an evolving cultural conversation. Monroe’s generation has the future, or should I say their iPhones, at their fingertips. When all the banality and horrors of our modern world are democratized by a single screen, it’s no surprise we long for a simpler time. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say: with a reality TV star as our president, the gap between satire and cinema verité is rapidly disappearing. As a result, the genre of “horror” has developed a subtlety that hits ever-closer to home. Is that too fatalistic a note to end on? Have I gone off track? I just hope to live in a world where a 36-year-old fox like Anne Bancroft doesn’t waste her time with a dud like Benjamin Braddock.


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?


“I think it’s really good to get the adrenaline pumping,” says Maika Monroe—actress, professional kiteboarder, brave adventurer. “Do stuff that scares you on a regular basis. I think it’s good for the body and for the mind.”

Monroe is specifically talking about skydiving. She celebrated her 23rd birthday by breaking the sound-barrier from 13,000 feet. She could also, fairly, be describing her maturing roster of movies. In 2014, Monroe starred in two acclaimed horror movies back-to-back, The Guest and It Follows. This summer, she faces two different impending world-invasion apocalypses in Independence Day: Resurgence and The 5th Wave.

Before she started acting, Monroe was a professional kite-boarder—the sport where you stand on a board in the ocean, steering with a high-flying kite, and doing all sorts of jumps and tricks. “After school my dad would pick me up and we would go straight to the beach. The other thing I loved is that no other girls were doing it,” she says. “I would be the only girl out there.”

She was also one of the few women on the set of the second Independence Day, where she got along best with Jeff Goldblum. “We’re BFF, big time, oh yeah!” she says. “I think he’s a magical person, I’m pretty sure he has hidden super powers.” Even with some 18-hour days, Goldblum was a source of positivity. “He’s so positive all the time. He would sing and dance and play games, and dancing—he loves tap dancing. We would be singing Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, stuff from plays that I had no idea what they were, but he knows all the words.”

Though she’s in six movies in 2016 (six!), she found time for vacations. Or rather, by “vacations,” she means pursuing extreme sports and other high-flying adventures. For her next pursuit, she says, “I really want to go swimming with sharks.”

“To this day I haven’t seen Jaws,” she adds. “Because I was always in the ocean, when I was a kid my mom said, ‘See the movies that you want to, but I’m telling you, do not ever see Jaws.’”

So she wants to swim with sharks, but still won’t see Jaws? “Yes. Precisely, precisely,” she says laughing. “I think it’s good to conquer the fears.”


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The 23-year-old former athlete, who got her big break in 2014’s Sundance hit ‘It Follows,’ is making the leap to tentpole with a role in ‘Resurgence.’

Up until age 17, Maika Monroe glided across a different shimmering surface than the big screen. The Santa Barbara native was living in the Dominican Republic as a top-ranked professional kiteboarder, an extreme sport that looks something like snowboarding on water. For years, Monroe had been sending out mostly ignored audition tapes to casting agents. But in 2011, she received a call about playing Zac Efron’s love interest in the family drama At Any Price. She landed the role, and her future quickly changed course. A bit part in The Bling Ring and a showy role in The Guest followed before she nabbed the lead in the Sundance horror breakout It Follows. Now, she’s making the leap to tentpole with Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24), playing former First Daughter Patricia Whitmore. Though she’s largely shelved the board and sunblock, she still gets out on the water between roles (“It really helps me stay sane,” she says.) The actress spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about who she bonded with most on set, the perils of Hollywood and whether or not we’ve been visited by ETs.

How has kiteboarding helped you as an actress?

It taught me determination, working hard for something. There’s lots of discipline. I enjoy roles that are quite physical. That was really fun with Independence Day, being a fighter pilot, kicking some ass.

You changed your name from Dillon to Maika. Why?

When I was about 7 years old, I asked my mom other names she was going to name me, and she said “Maika” was her second choice. I was like, “That’s my name!” So I went around to all my neighbors and my teachers and said: “I’m no longer going to respond to Dillon. My name is Maika.” And it stuck.

What was the audition process like for Independence Day?

I started with I auditioned for casting agents, and then I went in and auditioned with [director] Roland [Emmerich]. Then the final audition was doing a camera test with Liam [Hemsworth] and all the producers. It was scene between Liam and I, and I’m talking to him via Skype. Liam, my fiancé in the film, is on the moon, so it’s us talking about what’s going on. My father’s going through a lot. He’s having these kind of nightmares and visions. So I’m trying to help him. It didn’t feel like an audition because we were on stages. It was really quite nice meeting everyone. It’s a really special group. People warned me, “Big films — it’s a whole different pace than the indie world.” But you could feel that there was something different about this group.

You were 3 years old when the first Independence Day came out. What do you remember?

I saw it with my dad. It was at my house on VHS. Oh my goodness, the good old days of VHS. (Laughs.) I loved it so much — the comedy that was brought into this absolutely insane situation and these iconic characters. Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are just so memorable.

Who did you bond with the most on the set?

Jeff Goldblum. We spent a lot of time together. He does jazz nights on Wednesday nights, so now I’ll go and hang out with him there.

Who do you still get star struck by?

If I met Jack Nicholson, I would probably get a little flustered. Not going to lie. I’ve watched his movies since I was so young. Such a fan.

What is the worst thing about working in Hollywood?

The lifestyle perhaps. There’s a lot of excess. It’s just quite different for me, coming from [the world of] professional athletes. It’s just very different. It can be consuming and you have to be careful of that. I think it’s very easy for that to [fall into a lifestyle of excess]. So having people around you that are grounded is important because a lot of this is just crazy. It’s not reality.

What’s your dream project?

I’d really love to work with Quentin Tarantino. There’s so many people that I’d love to work with, but there’s something about Quentin, and one of my all-time favorite films is Kill Bill. Something along those lines would be such a blast.

After The Guest and It Follows, you were dubbed a scream queen. How do you feel about horror as a genre?

I love horror movies. It’s so fun being absolutely terrified. It’s damn hard to shoot, though. I didn’t realize how difficult it was to make a horror movie as an actor. Physically and mentally, phew. It Follows was easily the hardest film I ever made, just because every day was so intense. Every day, you’re screaming, crying. And just physically, putting your body through that, going to those dark places every day for 12, 13 hours was really, really rough. After I finished shooting that, I went into hibernation.

What’s been your biggest splurge since becoming an in-demand actress?

I have to go to Tokyo for Independence Day press, and I got my mom a ticket to come with me. I’m surprising for her birthday. I want her to come along. She’ll love it.

What’s up next?

I’ll shooting a film called Tau in Serbia. I leave for that beginning of July, which will be quite interesting. I’ve been to Europe, but I haven’t been to Eastern Europe. I’m excited for the adventure. I’m [signed on] for more 5th Wave sequels? But I don’t know what they’re planning on doing with that, to be honest.

Do you believe that aliens have visited Earth?

I’d say that they have. I think there has to be something else out there. And if they’re out there, maybe they’ve visited us. Hopefully they’re nice.


Maika Monroe is going from “scream queen” to big-budget screen.

The 23-year-old actress made her film debut in 2012 alongside Zac Efron in “At Any Price,” and has since made a name for herself in indie horror flicks “The Guest” and “It Follows.” Now, she’s starring in her first summer blockbuster: “Independence Day: Resurgence.” The movie, reportedly made with a $200 million budget, marks her biggest role yet. Monroe plays a now-grown-up Patricia Whitmore, the first daughter of the President of the U.S. in the original 1996 film.

We caught up with Monroe before “Resurgence’s” Friday release to talk about working on a studio movie, acting alongside Liam Hemsworth, and what she’s working on next. With six movies already in post-production, expect to see a lot more of this up-and-comer.

WWD: What drew you to this role?
Maika Monroe: Well I was a huge fan of the original one. My dad showed it to me when I was about 10 years old. I always loved what Roland [Emmerich, the director] did with it and [how he] brought comedy to this kind of insane situation. Just the characters I feel are so iconic, with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, so when I heard that they were making another one, I was super excited and then on top of that, my character works in the White House and also is a fighter pilot, which is very, very cool.

WWD: What was filming like? I imagine “Independence Day” was much larger in scale.
M.M.: Oh yeah, just the tiniest bit (laughs). I mean it’s a whole different pace to the very “YouTube-y,” indie world. This is a whole different beast, but I mean it’s incredible. You walk onto these sets, with these massive ships, but there’s something really fun about it because it’s almost like a play, because you’ve got green screen around you — a lot is left to the imagination.

WWD: Is it harder to act with a green screen playing such a huge part in filming?
M.M.: I mean, yes it is. It was definitely intimidating at first, but then you get used to it and actually come to like it a little bit. But it’s not easy.

WWD: Do you find yourself preferring the indie world or do you like these large-scale movie productions?
M.M.: I don’t know. Yeah I think it all depends on the project. There’s really awesome indie movies out there and there’s really fun bigger studio films, and I think if you can kind of find a balance and find projects that you really love in either world…I really do enjoy both.

WWD: Can you talk a little bit about what it was like working with Roland Emmerich and also alongside Liam Hemsworth? Did you know them before the film?
M.M.: I met all of them for the first time on the film. Roland is really amazing. He really knows how to make big movies and yet he also cares about the characters, which is definitely refreshing for a film this scale. He’s also just a blast. And also Liam, too — he has just such a good energy and positivity and is just so down to earth and cool. I feel very lucky to have worked with both of them.

WWD: What are you working on now? What’s next?
M.M.: I leave to go to Serbia in the beginning of July to shoot a film called “Tau” that I am super excited about. It’ll definitely be interesting, Serbia I mean. I’ve been to Europe, but I haven’t been to Eastern Europe.

WWD: Seems like a different ballgame.
M.M.: Yeah it’s totally different, a new adventure.