Maika Monroe’s growing list of projects is in large part due to the young performer’s tenacity that has allowed her to land roles that previously weren’t on the table, including Shia LaBeouf’s upcoming autobiographical feature Honey Boy.
“I remember hearing about it and reaching out to my team. ‘What’s going on with this. I really want to go for it,’” Monroe told The Hollywood Reporter. “I really fought for this one.”
The versatile actress recently starred in first-time director and screenwriter Elijah Bynum’s A24 release Hot Summer Nights. The film follows Timothée Chalamet as Daniel Middleton, a boy who becomes deeply entangled in the world of drugs during the summer of 1991 in Cape Cod. Monroe was attached to the project before Hollywood’s newest leading man landed his role, and she recounted her chemistry tests playing the on-screen love interest, McKayla Strawberry.
“I did chemistry reads with [about] three other actors,” Monroe revealed. “Timothee was the last one to come in. I remember he was kind of scrawny and I was like, ‘I don’t know. Let’s see what he’s got.'” The actress was pleasantly surprised with the Oscar-nominated actor’s talent. “He literally blew us all away. He left the room and we were like, ‘So that’s the one, right?'” she said.
Monroe admitted that her character’s complex nature led her to the project, and she peeled back those layers as the film’s shooting progressed.
“She’s got this really tough exterior, and that is something I can kind of relate with,” Monroe explained. “There’s a lot going on underneath and she doesn’t share with a lot of people.”
The indie circuit has welcomed Monroe and it remains her safe haven, but she admitted to THR that it is nerve-wracking to work on larger-scale projects, such as her upcoming film Greta with helmer Neil Jordan.
“[When you are working] with a first-time director, you kind of just bolt. We are all kind of going into this nervous and excited,” said Monroe. By comparison, working with a seasoned veteran like Jordan pushed her out of her comfort zone. “Neil’s done, like, a million movies [and he] knows exactly what it’s like, so the pressure is on.”
Watch the video above to hear Monroe reveal the highlight of her career thus far, how it felt being reunited with Chloe Grace Moretz on set and more.