Maddie Hasson Red Carpet Interview at the 2019 American Music Awards
Maddie Hasson Red Carpet Interview at the 2019 American Music Awards
Maddie Hasson Interview for Collider
00:48 – Moms can enjoy Impulse; Hasson on the crowd the series is drawing.
02:38 – Does Hasson watch her own work?
03:33 – Hasson on working with James Wan on Malignant.
04:15 – Is Hasson into horror movies?
06:11 – Hasson also has We Summon the Darkness coming up.
07:11 – Hasson goes back to the beginning; the movie that made her say, “I have to be an actor.”
08:47 – The appeal of taking roles that make her uncomfortable.
09:23 – At first she really didn’t want to do Disney Channel projects.
11:10 – How to overcome the disappointment of not getting a role.
14:18 – The very important horror movie that Hasson has not seen …
15:18 – What Hasson thought when she first heard about a Jumper series on YouTube.
16:30 – They had to reshoot the assault scene from the Impulse pilot.
18:50 – The role of Henry seems like an especially demanding one.
20:46 – Hasson on working with Missi Pyle.
22:25 – How Hasson recharges after a tough day of filming.
24:15 – Acting is a very high emotion situation; does Hasson ever walk away from a scene confident she nailed it?
26:00 – Collider Random Questions begins!
When Maddie Hasson—currently starring as Henry, a woman who realizes her ability to teleport in the midst of a sexual assault on Season 2 of the YouTube Originals thriller “Impulse”—first moved to Los Angeles from North Carolina at 16, her mother gave her a one-month trial to book a job. The rest is history! Now 24, the actor discusses the stamina needed to carry a series and her early audition missteps.
How did you first get your SAG-AFTRA card?
It was this movie called “God Bless America.” It was this Bobcat Goldthwait movie. My mom gave me a month in Los Angeles. I had this manager that was trying to convince her when I was 16 to let me come to L.A. and do a pilot season and she was like, “No, no, no, no.” Finally, we convinced her, and she was like, “You can have one month there and if you get a job, we can keep doing this.” I went on four auditions a day, every day for a whole month. I finally got this one part, and I was so beyond excited. Her name was Chloe and she was a very vapid, self-absorbed 16-year-old girl. She was having her sweet 16 and I loved it. There was a scene when I got to yell at Chloe’s mom on the phone. My mom was on set for that and she was like, “Wow, that sounds familiar.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
I feel like every time I step onto a set it’s like the first time and I’m always like, “I’m going to get fired, I’m the worst actor in the world.” And I think everybody feels that way. I would tell myself to take a deep breath. This is not the end of the world or the beginning of the world. It’s just one role and one piece of time. Try to do your best and don’t let it get away [from] you too much.
What is your worst audition horror story?
I auditioned for something on the CW and it was my first-ever callback. It was my first week in L.A. I came dressed in jeans and really old loafers from Target that I think used to be my sister’s. They might be in fashion now, but at the time, they weren’t. I did what I did in the audition and I think they gave me some notes and I was really flustered and I tried to take them but I didn’t take them as fully as a more experienced actor could. They were like, “She’s great, but she’s really green.” And that was the first time I heard the word “green.” They were like, “And what was she wearing? I don’t understand the outfit. She didn’t try to dress herself properly at all.” I was fully immersed in the Hollywood experience right away.
What’s the wildest thing you ever did to get a role?
I did dye my hair once for an audition. I don’t think I would do that now. But it was for this movie I did called “I Saw The Light.” I played Hank Williams’ wife Billie Jean, and her hair is dark, dark brown. And my hair at the time was very blonde. I got it in my head that they wouldn’t be able to see me as anything other than this blonde, blue-eyed, round-faced girl. She’d had a child at that age. Even though she was my same age, she was a mother and very mature and experienced. And I just looked, in my mind, like a baby. So I thought, I’m going to dye my hair. I got a box of brown hair dye and did it—and luckily, it worked out.
How do you prepare for an audition?
It depends on what kind of role it is. If it’s for a comedy, I try to talk a lot that morning. I try to speak to a friend or to my husband or my sister on the phone on the way. I try to keep my mind off of it because nothing kills comedy more than nerves and not being loose and not being in the swing of talking. If it’s for something more serious, something more emotional, I try to get into a darker place. I don’t really talk to people, on the flipside. I keep to myself for the day and do whatever I feel I have to do to get to that place.
What has playing this latest role as Henry on “Impulse” added to your acting skills?
From playing Henry, I’ve learned you have to have stamina because there’s a lot of emotional scenes, and those scenes don’t just happen in one take. They happen over and over, from multiple angles for five hours. You have to be able to give a performance you feel proud of every time, hopefully, so they can keep something together that looks good and matches and works and tells the correct story. I have learned you have to come prepared and you have to find a way to go to a certain place over and over and you have to find new things and a certain memory. If one thing stops working midway through a shooting day that you’re using to draw a certain feeling from, you can’t quit. You have to find another way really quickly.
What’s one screen performance every actor should see and why?
I really, really loved “Phantom Thread.” Daniel Day-Lewis is incredible. I loved every moment of that performance. It made me feel warm, and it was gorgeous. It was interesting because he wasn’t becoming this person we all know that’s alive already and we can say, “Oh my god, look how he transformed,” which is also very impressive. There weren’t crazy sobbing scenes. It wasn’t flashy, but it was really understated and quiet and I loved that. I also loved Phoebe Waller-Bridge on “Fleabag.” She’s just so cool and that performance is incredible.
The cast of YouTube’s “Impulse” just found out that the sci-fi drama has been officially renewed for a second season, and they’re already starting to ponder what’s in store for their characters — particularly for Maddie Hasson’s Henry and her newfound ability to teleport.
“I want to see what happens when Henry’s power develops because we sort of see it — especially in episode 10 — develop in a big way and grow in a big way,” Hasson said at Variety‘s San Diego Comic-Con Studio Thursday. “I want to see how she handles that because I’ve always expected her to handle it really badly and not be a superhero at all, and that would be fun for me to play.”
Executive producer Lauren LeFranc has yet to finalize or share any script drafts — even with the cast — but she did confirm that Henry’s supernatural ability will take center stage in the show’s sophomore season.
“We have 10 episodes, which was awesome, but it is hard to really go there, so I’m excited to have 10 more episodes to tell more of those stories,” LeFranc said. “I think teleportation is going to play a more complicated, bigger role in the mythology.”
Enuka Okuma, who plays Deputy Anna Hulce, is excited to delve deeper into Anna’s mysterious past and her overall purpose in the series’ small town.
“We just teased a little bit of Anna’s backstory in Season 1, so it’s a bit of a mystery why she’s in Reston and what happened back there in New York that sent her over to this small town where these lovely ladies live,” Okuma said, referring to castmates Hasson and Sarah Desjardins. “I’m curious to find out about her family. These characters are all complex — we’re not all good; we’re not all bad. So what are those colors within Anna’s life? I’m so curious.”
In the new Doug Liman series Impulse, it feels as if Maddie Hasson’s range on camera has finally been found. The 23-year-old actor has already appeared in both network dramas and feature films, but nowhere has she been more captivating than as Henrietta “Henry” Coles, an outcast teenager whose ordeals precipitate a new supernatural power. Hasson brings a complex array of emotions to the screen with Henry, but for her, it’s only the first of many challenges she wants to tackle in her burgeoning career.
Hasson grew up in North Carolina, but by sixteen she was already taking trips to audition in Los Angeles. “It was sort of a fluke,” she says, recalling her youth in theater. “One of my play directors said, ‘There’s this movie auditioning in town and you should go for it.’ I went out for it and the casting director sent my tape to the manager I’m still with today and he signed me that week. So I got really, really lucky. it doesn’t happen that way usually, I think.” She soon landed starring roles in the television shows The Finder and Twisted, as well as roles in feature films including the part of country singer Billie Jean opposite Tom Hiddleston’s Hank Williams in I Saw The Light, before landing the lead in Impulse. Read More
Meet the hottest talents on the Hollywood horizon—a new generation of stars barely out of their teens who are enthusiastic, ambitious, social media savvy and destined for greatness.
Web Series Wunderkind:
At 15 years old, Maddie Hasson (@maddiehassonofficial) made her TV debut as street-smart Willa Monday on Fox’s The Finder, and shortly after landed the leading female role on ABC’s teen mystery Twisted. Next came feature films—she played Billie Jean Jones in the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light; Sister Sissy in Novitiate, about a group of nuns in the 1960s; and a bullied teen in More Than Enough. Where to spot Hasson next? Streaming on YouTube Red later this year in Impulse, a drama in which the 23-year-old native of North Carolina portrays Henrietta (a.k.a. “Henry”) Cole, a young woman who discovers she has the ability to teleport.
How did you land the role in Impulse and what do you love most about your character?
I auditioned for the part. They brought me back two more times, and each time I became more nervous and more attached to the project. I thought I screwed it up and didn’t get it. I cried very loudly when I found out that I did! I love playing Henry because she knows herself very well. I think that trait isn’t commonly portrayed in young female characters. I love that the writers of our show never once underestimate Henry because she’s a girl or because she’s young.
Describe a project you hope will be on your resume and someone you hope to work with within the next five years.
I want to shave my head on screen, which may be a little cliché now that it’s been done a few times, but the heart wants what it wants. And I would be so excited to work with Tilda Swinton one day.
What is your favorite luxury splurge?
After her character’s traumatic event, she discovers she can teleport. It’s a sci-fi even the sci-fi averted will be obsessed with.
If you were taking a stroll by Broadway and Howard some odd days ago, you would have spotted a platinum blonde, Valentino frothy-red-gown-wearing Maddie Hasson twirling as she beelined for the pretzel stand on the other side of the crosswalk. We managed to lens a few shots before she downed the entire doughy knot. Did we mention this was ~after~ we snuck onto our Coveteur HQ rooftop for an impromptu photo shoot and got kicked off? Yeah, that happened. You know what, though, Hasson was just about up for anything we threw at her, as long as it ended in the right shot. That’s something she has in common with her character Henry—a rebellious 16-year-old who discovers she can teleport during a traumatic assault—in YouTube’s original series Impulse; she oozes confidence.
We sat down with Hasson to talk about the challenges of playing her destructive teleport scenes, the importance of exploring the assault throughout the series, and what she’s binge-watching right now.
On what drew her to the role:
“I needed a job [laughs], so I auditioned for it. I’m not a big deal, you know what I mean? It’s not like people send me scripts leisurely and are like, ‘Here you go, just take it, we love you.’ You have to work for it. I really love Henry. Henry was the thing that drew me to this, because she’s such a real character. She’s not any one particular thing for the sake of being it. She’s not strong so she could seem like a badass; she’s not likable for the sake of being likable. She’s just a real, human character, and I love that about her.”
How YouTube provided a space to take a risk:
“You know what, it was different than any other TV show I’ve done. Because I’ve done two other TV shows, both on big networks. It was different, because I think it’s quite new, and so they’re interested in taking a lot of risks. They didn’t try to tailor the show to fit YouTube’s brand—they gave us a lot of freedom, which was very refreshing. We say ‘fuck’ a lot in the show, which not a lot of teen shows on networks get to. It’s understandable, but we don’t do that in our show at all.”