Zimbio's Rising Stars: Madeleine Arthur Relives Her First Audition, Shares Thoughts On Living Your Fullest Life
We're highlighting remarkable young actresses who are set to become the leading ladies of tomorrow.
The world is changing, and the team here at Zimbio is all about it. Now, more than ever, the concerns of women are being heard, respected, and valued through movements like Time's Up and Me Too. And, now more than ever, it's up to us to embrace and empower each other if we want these movements to stay soaring. That's why the month of March — Women's History Month — feels extra important this year. To celebrate, we're calling out awesome young actresses you'll be seeing much more of in the future, the rising stars who excite and inspire us. Whether we were touched by their courageous onscreen performances, brought to tears by their relatable characters, or captivated by their thoughtful posts on social media, we think every one of these actresses is on the road to becoming a household name.
Earlier this month, we featured Emma Kenney, best known as the spirited Debbie Gallagher on Shameless, then 16-year-old Talitha Bateman, who you'll recognize from the new drama Love, Simon. Next, we put the spotlight on Shannon Purser, who readers will know as Ethel on Riverdale and Barb on Stranger Things, followed by Sophia Lillis from It. We also featured Mouna Traoré, a face you'll recognize from Shadowhunters and Hemlock Grove. She's also recently been announced as a series regular in BET's In Contempt.
Last (but not least!) in this series is Madeleine Arthur, who caught our eye as fairy-fied teen, Fray, on Syfy's The Magicians. She also stars in the upcoming drama To All the Boys I've Loved Before.
Tell us about your very first audition!
Madeleine Arthur: The first audition I remember clearly is one from when I was twelve or thirteen. I had maybe one or two lines and had to be scared of a monster. The casting director literally got up on a chair and played out the part of a looming monster, waving their arms around and making monster sounds and everything! I believe they were on camera with me, too... having him in frame was so disconcerting to me that I couldn't remember my two lines. I was so flustered that I kept apologizing over and over. It felt like a disaster at the time, but now it just cracks me up. I've never had an audition like that again.
What advice would you give to any aspiring young actors out there?
MA: Treat auditioning like a giant masterclass, where you learn from each and every audition! Also, read lots of plays and scripts. And keep positive and stay healthy.
What big acting goal do you hope to accomplish in the future?
MA: I aspire to tell relevant stories and play characters that cut across the broad spectrum of life. One of my biggest desires is to make a French film... with Marion Cotillard, if possible. Just saying!
What does the support of other young women mean to you?
MA: Everything! To support or have the support of any other human being is important. Equally important and invaluable is that we as women collaborate and support one another. I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful women in my life personally and professionally. I think that we all feel this palpable energy and excitement for what's to come in the future.
What does TV and film mean to you?
MA: TV and film have the power to affect people and open up their imaginations by transporting the viewer to a different realm. These mediums have the ability to reflect real life experiences to remind people that they are not alone on their journeys. The screen is also powerful in helping educate and widen people's perspective of the world. I get so excited just thinking about the many possibilities and the power of good storytelling.
What other actresses inspire you?
MA: There are so many! Right now, I really love Greta Gerwig — her ability to act, write, and direct is so inspiring. Similarly, I admire the multi-faceted Emma Thompson. I also really admire actresses who are chameleon-like or shape shifters, like Amy Adams, who can do Enchanted and then something entirely different like The Fighter. Likewise, Cate Blanchett, who in Manifesto was able to play thirteen completely unique characters. I find performances and actresses like that so incredibly inspiring!
What big obstacle have you faced in the industry so far?
MA: The greatest obstacle that I faced was in the 10th grade, in deciding not to participate in the IB program and follow an academic path (something I had planned to do from a very young age). Instead, I chose to have more free time in which to pursue my passion, acting... I'm so happy that I did!
What is it about acting that you love?
MA: I love that, as an actor, you have the opportunity to explore and learn about different aspects of humanity. Acting allows me and my curious nature the possibility to step into so many different shoes and tell the stories of the people who wear them.
What's one important lesson you've learned since you started acting?
MA: Well, Christoph Waltz gave me some wonderful advice that was something to the effect of, "To not just be an actress." I feel like that is more of a life lesson. I always seek knowledge and have interests outside of acting. I'm definitely not the first person to say something in this vein... nonetheless, I feel that if you live and breathe acting all day and every day that your work starts to run on fuel reserves of real life experiences. So, live and breathe acting, but also live and breathe life! It's cheesy — maybe a little or maybe a lot, but it's true!
How do you cope with adversity?
MA: By embracing it and maintaining a joie de vivre!
What's your best fan memory so far?
MA: Does family count? After all, they are my biggest fans! Recently my cousin in the U.K., was commuting home on the train and watching TV on his tablet, when all of a sudden I appeared on his screen. He had no idea that I was in the show, and was so thrilled that he immediately WhatsApped me. That was a very special moment.