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.
Behind the scenes of THR’s photoshoot with the breakout actress, who stars in ‘Resurgence’ next.
“The first person that I called was my dad, because he’s a huge fan of the original,” the actress tells THR.
I’ve added high quality pictures of Maika Monroe at the Independence Day: Resurgence premiere, check them out in the gallery
Two sleeper successes set the stage for Maika Monroe. Now, the reluctant “scream queen” is primed for her blockbuster breakthrough.
This summer, the actress is out to prove her range, transitioning from indie darling to blockbuster boss in this summer’s highly anticipated Independence Day: Resurgence, in which she plays Patricia Whitmore, the daughter of the former president, played by Bill Pullman. It’s Monroe’s first step into the mainstream, but also proof that she’s up for anything. Think that Monroe is ready to settle for the “scream queen” label? Think again.
Having a major role in one of the most anticipated sequels of the year is a big move. We’re experiencing a high tide of reboots and sequels. What was it about Independence Day: Resurgence that made you want to get involved?
Well, growing up, my dad absolutely loved the original and he showed it to me on VHS. And you could just tell it was something special. When it came out in ’96, [with] the CGI and everything, I was blown away by it.
It’s something about the characters. Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman—their characters were all so specific and real. You fall for them. And for a movie that’s so ridiculous and so big, you have to have those characters that you care about. I think Roland [Emmerich] does that well. That’s what I really liked about it and the original film.