Maddie Hasson stars in a new YouTube Red show called Impulse, based on the 2013 novel of the same name
“I like thinking about why people do things,” Maddie Hasson said. “Right now I’m visiting North Carolina, which is where I grew up, and whenever I get around family it’s wonderful because you all love each other, but you all have so much history, so there is a little bit of strife sometimes. Whenever I get around my family and something happens. I’ll go into the other room and I’ll turn to my husband and say, ‘Why do you think she did that? Let’s talk about this and dissect it.’ I’ve always been that way, and I think that’s part of the reason why I act.”
Hasson is only 23, but already she’s co-starred on the series The Finder (2012) and Twisted (2013-2014). On the big screen she’s appeared as Billie Jean Jones, second wife of Hank Williams, in I Saw the Light (2015) and as a young nun in Novitiate (2017).
Her latest project is Impulse, a show that will premiere June 6 on YouTube Red. Based on Steven Gould’s 2013 novel of the same name and executiveproduced by Doug Liman, Impulse unfolds in the small town of Reston, New York, and centers on Henrietta “Henry” Coles (Hasson), a high-school outsider who attracts the attention of a star athlete, Clay (Tanner Stine).
Henry learns through horrible circumstances that she possesses the ability to teleport: Clay attacks her in his pickup truck, which triggers the teleportation process, and that process crushes the truck, paralysing Clay. That all occurs in the first episode. Subsequent episodes will explore the ramifications of that night and address how Henry will harness her power thereafter.
‘Buffy was my favourite show’
The easygoing, mature Hasson explained that Impulse immediately stuck a chord with her. A “big sci-fi fan,” she grew up watching strong female characters such as Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Buffy was my favourite show, and I loved that world that she lived in,” Hasson said. “So I thought, ‘Wow, what a cool opportunity to be … ‘ Not that Henry is really a role model, but to play an iconic character in that way. Henry was written so well. They really didn’t ever try to subdue how strong she is in an effort to make her seem likable, which I think happens with a lot of young female characters. I never once felt that way in reading the script or on set. I felt like we wanted to make Henry hard and real and emotionally damaged, and that was just so fun for me, as an actress, to play.”