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Her array of accomplishments and abilities only solidify the fact that she will be a household name in no time—but this did not stop Demie from demonstrating refreshing, elegant humility. On the hectic set of a fashion shoot, she took the time to sit down with me, after shaking everyone’s hand on set, and opened up. We discussed everything from our Halloween costumes, (we decided she can be Priscilla Presley combined with Catwoman, and I will be a not sexy nun), to dream homes (her’s is a ranch on a lake). We also discussed the important things, like the incredible projects she’s been working on, what her experience has been with Euphoria and its cast, and how she draws inspiration from family members.

 

Left – Bra and Skirt by Di Petsa, shoes by Amina Muaddi, jewelry by Adinas Jewels

Right – Top, skirt, + gloves by Jono Cheong, shoes by Amina Muaddi, earrings by Joomi Lim + Alighieri, rings by Adinas Jewels

 

 

Alexa, I’ll go ahead and say that the characters that you have played are all fairly intense women.

 

Yeah, I’m trying to do a comedy!

 

That would certainly be unexpected. Do you think you could transition to that easily after playing such dark roles?

 

Absolutely. I’m more playful in my day-to-day life, and I feel like, as you said, these characters that I’ve been playing are really intense and…

 

People assume that you’re like that yourself?

 

Of course. Especially when you’re dealing with a show [like Euphoria]. There are so many episodes, and people assume all the time. They forget that it’s acting, and they think you’re exactly like your fucking character.

 

Unless there’s like dragons that separate the viewer from reality, I can see how that happens. What do you do to decompress and practice self-care after working in those roles? Because the Maddy role especially seems pretty heavy.

 

It takes over you a bit. Especially when you’re filming for that long. So it’s hard. I feel like I’m still learning how to detach, especially from my Waves character. It took me like a whole month to feel good again. And I like to take baths and listen to music, because I use a lot of personal trauma in my work. I tell myself, from the psychological side, [the work is] how my mind can release it.

 

Do you feel like it’s been beneficial to like use your own personal pain or triggering? Or both?

 

It’s been both. I think I’ve triggered myself, but also has been super beneficial in healing myself as well.

 

Left – Dress by Ludovic de Saint Sernin, shoes by Rene Caovilla

Right – Top, skirt, + gloves by Jono Cheong, shoes by Amina Muaddi, earrings by Joomi Lim + Alighieri, rings by Adinas Jewels

[The role of any character] takes over you a bit. Especially when you’re filming for that long. So it’s hard. I feel like I’m still learning how to detach…

 

 

Demie does the modern coming-of-age drama well. Extremely well. She smoothed the edges of Jonah Hill’s gritty skater film Mid90s, presenting the provocative character Estee with an unforgettable performance. Then there’s Euphoria, the cult HBO show that came out this Summer and has since turned into a phenomenon, in which Demie plays Maddy, a bold, bright, 16-year-old who proves to be strong-willed against everyone but her abusive boyfriend. Demie does it all astutely. She’s debuting in her next film Waves which comes out in November, alongside Lucas Hedges and Sterling K. Brown amongst other stars, and after that, we’ll see her in the latest Gia Coppola flick with Andrew Garfield.

 

Left – Underwear by VOFT Valeriya Olkhova, jeans by Di Petsa, shoes by Amina Muaddi

Right – Rings by Adinas Jewels, eyeliner by UZ 7 Shades of Black

 

 

So, you have some projects upcoming. One of which is Waves.

 

It comes out on November 1st. We did the Telluride Film Festival, we did Toronto, and there were a bunch more. But I think it’s getting a really good response. In Toronto, it got the longest standing ovation in seven years.

 

That’s awesome. Can you tell me what your character is like in Waves?

 

She’s really strong, and she’s got a strong sense of self. Well, I can’t say much, because there’s like a really big spoiler, but I really liked playing her, because I feel like my character in Euphoria, Maddy, is a little bit more submissive in her relationship. Alexis, my character in Waves, is less so. Even though [Alexis] is so in love with this boy, she’s still willing to stand up for herself and what she wants.

 

So with Waves you got to move out of the California-based characters.

 

Exactly. I spent a couple of months in Miami and Hollywood, Florida. Have you been to Florida?

 

It’s weird.

 

Yeah! Honestly though, it was such a good experience. I would drive from Hallendale, Florida where the condo was to Miami, because they gave us all rental cars and find shit to do in Miami. I love the sunsets in Miami. And I love The Standard Spa.

 

Self-care, again, important. So you have something else coming up as well. With Gia Coppola? Mainstream

 

That’s a really small part. But it was nice because it was right after Euphoria. I didn’t want to get into something big, really a little bit of a break because we shot for so long. And that was a small role, but I got to work directly with Andrew Garfield. And he’s fucking amazing. I learned so much from him in two days.

 

With Euphoria, who do you think you learned the most from on the set? 

 

For Euphoria, because we had different directors for different episodes, I learned from each of those directors just seeing the differences in how they all work.

 

 

Left – Dress by Ludovic de Saint Sernin, shoes by Rene Caovilla 

Right – Underwear by VOFT Valeriya Olkhova, jeans by Di Petsa Pee, shoes by Amina Muaddi

 

 

That must’ve been really good to build up your skillset, knowing what you’re in for when working with a variety of people in film in the future.

 

It really was. Sam directed most of them, and I love him. I loved the way he directed, and it’s his world… With different directors, you learn what works for you and what doesn’t work for you, you know? And so I think I learned the most from watching how the directors work.

 

You’ve really done quite a lot outside of the film industry. You have music, let’s talk about that. I heard somewhere that a new EP is coming up…?

 

Brewing. It’s something I’ve been working on, honestly, since what feels like fucking forever… But I’m definitely focused on it now. It’s a priority.

 

That’s a lot of expectations to put on yourself.

 

It is. And it’s also really vulnerable, because with acting, you’re playing this character, and with music, it’s you. You know, you’re like writing your stories and you’re performing them. It’s really vulnerable, and that’s also a good thing—something I’ve been working for.

 

Left – Bra + skirt by Di Petsa, shoes by Amina Muaddi, jewelry by Adinas Jewels

Right – Dress by Ludovic de Saint Sernin, shoes by Rene Caovilla

 

 

Well, that’s actually a very brave choice to be open and honest in music, because I feel like not everyone is representing themselves. Some artists do hide behind characters even in the music industry.

 

With my music, it’s like I’m telling; I’m telling it all.

 

Do you do other sorts of writing?

 

Ever since I was little, writing has always been an outlet for me. I started with poetry and then realized that could be turned into lyrics. Also, I write short films all the time. One day I want to write my movie and direct it. I’m just writing and waiting. I don’t want to force anything. So when something really sticks, I am going to develop a full screenplay.

 

And then that’s another way you can use all your directorial experiences. What’s your movie, do you think?

 

I don’t know yet. I have so many different ones. I’m actually making a movie right now with my mom which she wrote for about eight years—just pages, because she doesn’t know how to write a script. We actually got producers and writers [for the project]. It’s her story growing up. She was born in Mexico, and moved in the eighties to East Hollywood, experiencing East Hollywood and Westwood. While it’s set in the 80s in LA, it’s really more about her life when she was a teenager.

 

Sounds amazing. Are you and your mom close?

 

Yeah, she had me really young, and we had our, you know, ups and downs when I was younger. And I left home really young, but I feel like through growing up and making this project together, we’ve actually healed a lot. We’re super close.

 

 Bodysuit by VOFT Valeriya Olkhova, skirt by Mathuson Anthony, shoes Vintage McQueen from Decades Inc, bracelet by Alighieri, earrings by Alighieri, rings by Adinas Jewels

 

 

That’s great. I feel like that’s not always what happens when people get fame. It gets hard to stay close to home.

 

I grew up with a really solid sense of family. Even on my mom’s side, my family—they’re very Mexican and traditional, and they want to get together for everything—every barbecue, every birthday, every event. I just feel like I’ve always had and still have that sense of family. They’re all here in LA, because I’m from here. So no, I’m close with all of them.

 

I see there’s a lot of rhinestones happening on this set. It reminds me of Maddy. Is that aesthetic something that an element of your own personal style, or something that you’ve adopted by way of your character?

 

You know, I’ve always saved all my showgirl references and done gems before, but through Maddy, I was definitely able to live that truth. It’s always been a part of me, and since I got to bring that to the character, I’m leaning into it more.

 

What other parts of yourself do you think were infused into the character?

 

Definitely the beauty and the outfits. She has helped me explore my feminine side. I have always been Jeans and tennis shoes, though I’ve always loved fashion. Through her, I’ve been wearing more heels lately. Little heels and dresses. She opened up a side of me I knew was there, but wasn’t out there yet.

 

She’s a pretty interesting character. Dark, but there’s a lot of strength there.

 

I’m happy to hear that, because I often get frustrated with the character ’cause I’m like “get out of this fucking relationship.” But you know, you can’t really do that.

 

Left – Bra + skirt by Di Petsa, shoes by Amina Muaddi, jewelry by Adinas Jewels, eyeliner by UZ 7 Shades of Black

Right – Bodysuit by VOFT Valeriya Olkhova, skirt by Mathuson Anthony, shoes Vintage McQueen from Decades Inc, bracelet by Alighieri, earrings by Alighieri, rings by Adinas Jewels

 

 

I think people underestimate how hard it is to get out of like a domestic violence situation. Trauma bonding. It’s like a fucked form of Stockholm Syndrome.

 

It can be toxic even if there’s no physical violence. Mental violence. I got a lot of messages from girls who were in similar relationships. Some of them even left their partners after the show.

 

That’s the goal, isn’t?

 

Yeah. And I’m hoping that Maddy explores her freedom a bit more.

 

Do you keep in touch with the cast?

 

We’re on a group text, and we’ll all see each other or go to someone’s house. We’re all very close. I think that helps us get through it. I was so grateful that we actually all like each other.

 

That’s definitely a bonus, and I bet especially helpful with that tricky business of detaching from your character.

 

Oh yeah, as soon as we would cut, we’re all joking nonstop on set.

 

Left – Bra + skirt by Di Petsa, shoes by Amina Muaddi, jewelry by Adinas Jewels

Right – Bodysuit by VOFT Valeriya Olkhova, skirt by Mathuson Anthony, shoes by Alexander McQueen, bracelet by Alighieri, earrings by Alighieri, rings by Adinas Jewels, eyeliner by UZ 7 Shades of Black

 

 

That show has some really impactful messages there too that are useful. I was worried about glamorization, but after watching the season, it doesn’t actually glamorize anything.

 

No. If you see something—you’re going to then see the downfall of it.

 

How do you feel like the overall impact of Euphoria has been on teens—people in the portrayed age range?

 

I only know what I see. As I said, I’ve received messages from people in relationships, and then other than that, I think people having a lot of fun. We haven’t had something in a while that’s such a cultural phenomenon. And it really is, people are dressing up as the characters…

 

Oh, I know. I have friends who are being Maddy for Halloween.

 

Oh my God, I have to see. I know that fucking outfit that I wore for the carnival went on backorder. People are excited, and that’s really cool, because when I was younger that’s what I got excited about. Life is so serious. You know what’s so funny though, I don’t dress up for Halloween. I don’t. Maybe because I dress up in my, like, real life.

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