Maika Monroe is going from “scream queen” to big-budget screen.
The 23-year-old actress made her film debut in 2012 alongside Zac Efron in “At Any Price,” and has since made a name for herself in indie horror flicks “The Guest” and “It Follows.” Now, she’s starring in her first summer blockbuster: “Independence Day: Resurgence.” The movie, reportedly made with a $200 million budget, marks her biggest role yet. Monroe plays a now-grown-up Patricia Whitmore, the first daughter of the President of the U.S. in the original 1996 film.
We caught up with Monroe before “Resurgence’s” Friday release to talk about working on a studio movie, acting alongside Liam Hemsworth, and what she’s working on next. With six movies already in post-production, expect to see a lot more of this up-and-comer.
WWD: What drew you to this role?
Maika Monroe: Well I was a huge fan of the original one. My dad showed it to me when I was about 10 years old. I always loved what Roland [Emmerich, the director] did with it and [how he] brought comedy to this kind of insane situation. Just the characters I feel are so iconic, with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, so when I heard that they were making another one, I was super excited and then on top of that, my character works in the White House and also is a fighter pilot, which is very, very cool.
WWD: What was filming like? I imagine “Independence Day” was much larger in scale.
M.M.: Oh yeah, just the tiniest bit (laughs). I mean it’s a whole different pace to the very “YouTube-y,” indie world. This is a whole different beast, but I mean it’s incredible. You walk onto these sets, with these massive ships, but there’s something really fun about it because it’s almost like a play, because you’ve got green screen around you — a lot is left to the imagination.
WWD: Is it harder to act with a green screen playing such a huge part in filming?
M.M.: I mean, yes it is. It was definitely intimidating at first, but then you get used to it and actually come to like it a little bit. But it’s not easy.
WWD: Do you find yourself preferring the indie world or do you like these large-scale movie productions?
M.M.: I don’t know. Yeah I think it all depends on the project. There’s really awesome indie movies out there and there’s really fun bigger studio films, and I think if you can kind of find a balance and find projects that you really love in either world…I really do enjoy both.
WWD: Can you talk a little bit about what it was like working with Roland Emmerich and also alongside Liam Hemsworth? Did you know them before the film?
M.M.: I met all of them for the first time on the film. Roland is really amazing. He really knows how to make big movies and yet he also cares about the characters, which is definitely refreshing for a film this scale. He’s also just a blast. And also Liam, too — he has just such a good energy and positivity and is just so down to earth and cool. I feel very lucky to have worked with both of them.
WWD: What are you working on now? What’s next?
M.M.: I leave to go to Serbia in the beginning of July to shoot a film called “Tau” that I am super excited about. It’ll definitely be interesting, Serbia I mean. I’ve been to Europe, but I haven’t been to Eastern Europe.
WWD: Seems like a different ballgame.
M.M.: Yeah it’s totally different, a new adventure.