After roles in “Novitiate” and “I Saw the Light,” Maddie Hasson, the star of new web series “Impulse,” is poised for her breakout year.
“I think I sort of got found.”
Maddie Hasson carries the confidence of an actress long in the profession, though she’s a name relatively unknown. The 23-year-old is poised, sure of herself and deceptively stylish, and Hollywood is catching on.
The Wilmington, N.C., native grew up doing theater and was scouted by a manager when she was 15, after her theater director urged her to attend a film audition; she’s still with the same manager today. “I think I got very lucky,” she says.
It would be a year longer for her to convince her mother that uprooting to Los Angeles wasn’t an entirely insane idea. “She let me go to L.A. for a month. And she went with me, and she said ‘If you get a job, we can keep coming back.’ So there was no like, ‘we’re going to move to L.A. right now when you’re 16.’ She was not having that,” Hasson says. “Luckily; I think that I probably wouldn’t have handled that well. It’s a good mom move; go mom.”
Hasson is in New York on a press leg for her new show “Impulse” on YouTube Premium, a breakout thriller series from director Doug Liman of “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” fame. She plays Henry, a headstrong 16-year-old girl who discovers she can teleport.
“I loved her from the very beginning,” Hasson says of Henry. “She really knows who she is for a 16-year-old. And nobody in the writing team or producing team or directing team ever tried to stifle that strength just because she’s a young female character. They really went with it, which was refreshing.”
It’s assumed, then, that she’s read many parts that were otherwise.
“I think the unfortunate thing is, when you get a strong female character, the breakdown will often say something like ‘she’s sassy, or bratty or angsty.’ And you’re like, ‘no, she’s just pissed off. Like, she’s tired of your shit, and she’s tired of being called sassy, and bratty and angsty,’” Hasson says.
Hasson’s previous credits include the 2015 film “I Saw the Light” alongside Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen and last year’s “Novitiate” with Melissa Leo, Dianna Agron and Margaret Qualley. She teases that the project she’s currently at work on is something “I can’t talk about it,” but that she’s looking for a challenge.
“[My management] send me a lot of tough female characters because I think they think that I’m tough,” she says. “But I don’t want to rest in that — I want to go and do something different.
For the “Impulse” press trip, she’s begun working with celebrity stylist Molly Dickson, a former assistant of Leslie Fremar who, since going on her own, has built a roster of some of young Hollywood’s best-dressed new faces including Sadie Sink, Katherine Langford and Joey King. For the day, Dickson has pulled a Dior skirt suit that fits Hasson’s preference for being “very covered up.”
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” Hasson says. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses. I like to be covered — it makes me feel very strong and powerful…to have layers and a high neckline, and big trousers and a big coat.”
The occasions for the stylist only seem to be increasing.
“It’s fun having a stylist; I like it. It’s a new thing for me, but I’m so into it,” she says. “I’m so on board with the whole thing.”