FLAUNT – What darkness lurks beyond the unknown? What threatens the comfort and familiarity with which we bind ourselves? A sense of wonder is a necessity if you’re not to let life pass you by—but with the worry of self preservation pressing in from all around us, we sometimes hold back. For 24-year-old actor, Maude Apatow, stepping into a character’s shoes is always an exploration replete with uncertainty, but well worth the fruits of wisdom.
It’s early afternoon when I connect with Apatow. She is swiftly on her way to a photoshoot. We begin with discussion about her origins in acting, independent of—but no doubt also influenced by—her parents, filmmaker Judd Apatow and actor Leslie Mann. Theatre consumed Apatow’s childhood, which she eagerly participated in from kindergarten all the way through high school. “I went to an arts high school,” Apatow reflects, “and we were really lucky to have a great drama department and teachers. My teachers were very supportive and encouraging of all of us, and I think that was one of the reasons I wanted to go into it.”
Apatow’s previous work includes a charming stint as Pete Davidson’s sister in dramedy, The King of Staten Island, the role of Henrietta in Ryan Murphy’s drama miniseries, Hollywood, which centers around a group of aspiring entertainers in the post-World War II era, and her career-defining appearance in the 2016 comedy-drama, Other People, of which she shares, “was the first thing I did on my own, independent of my family. I felt so adult. I thought to myself: if this was what my life could be, then I could keep doing things like this, and I was going to work as hard as I can to keep doing things like this.
Apatow has recently earned widespread attention for her character Lexi Howard in HBO’s dark drama hit, Euphoria, created by Sam Levinson. Season two of Euphoria marks an impeccable return to the hyperactive high school series that melds tense character development with stress-induced scenes and drugs and sex. Toxic masculinity, feminine yearning, substance abuse, mental health, and every colloquial identity struggle you could shake a 2020s stick at are amongst the many perils that plague the eclectic teens of East Highland High School. The first season of Euphoria courted controversy for its sensational, boundary-pushing depictions of the above, and unsurprisingly, season two is mightily carrying the torch.