Adoring Maude Apatow

Maude for Cultured Magazine

Maude Apatow Has a Revolution

CULTUREDEuphoria’s good girl, Lexi, blossomed from wallflower into leading lady this season. She was just walking in actor Maude Apatow’s footsteps.

Maude Apatow was on Jimmy Fallon last night—an interview she describes as “the scariest experience ever but fun.” It’s all part of a new chapter that has taken hold for Apatow ever since Euphoria’s second season dropped in January and fans fell for her character, Lexi Howard’s out-of-the-gate romance with the show’s beloved drug dealer Fezco (played by Angus Cloud). “People are posting little meme things on Twitter,” she says, the giddy shock still in her breath. “How do I even describe this one?” Then she does: a chihuahua chomping a pillow with a four-toothed grin. “It’s something about us being cute.”

Despite Apatow’s best efforts, I don’t know if I believe her when she claims she fumbles over her words, echoing my own apology: I do better in person. Because even on the phone, she sets herself apart—as someone in command enough to pause and think rather than fill the air with talk. On-screen, she appears in full possession of Lexi and all her coming-of-age complications. Apatow embodies the salutatorian’s pillow-biting relationship to power as a reticent main character. One of the strongest parts of the performance is the way she is able to capture the simultaneous highs and lows of the teenage emotional vernacular and the alternating viciousness and compassion it inspires. All winter we’ve watched Lexi prepare for an autobiographical school play with anticipation while her friends spiral on their own in the dark. Is it a vengeful malice that keeps Lexi from telling them that she’s about to make their private lives other people’s entertainment? Or is it the fear of what might happen when she tells them how she really feels? “I don’t think it’s necessarily coming from a mean place, but also at the same time, what makes it interesting is it’s a little mean,” Apatow says, pathologizing further. “[Lexi] is super insecure and shy, but she also is super aggressive. She does have so many thoughts about things, but she’s so sad that she can’t express it. When the play comes and she’s fully in charge, she has no choice, all of that comes out.”
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