In 2015, Maika Monroe was being described as an up and coming actress. Fast forward to today, and there’s no more up and coming about it- the Californian actress has well and truly arrived. Already, 2019 has been one of Monroe’s busiest years yet, and with upcoming appearances in The Sound of Philadelphia, Stockholm and The Education of Fredrick Fitzell to look forward to, it’s showing no signs of slowing down yet. To find out more about the actress who’s been described as this generation’s “Scream Queen”, keep reading.
1. She trained to become a kite surfer
The movie business can count its lucky stars to have Monroe amongst its ranks. If she’d followed her childhood dream, she’d be in a very different business altogether. Prior to making her move into acting, Monroe was on course to becoming a professional kitesurfer. “I started when I was 13,” she told the Irish Times. “I saw my dad doing it and thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.” At 17, she and her mother left their native California to move to the Dominican Republic, where Monroe began to train in earnest. The hard work clearly paid off, and by 2013, Monroe ranked number 32 kite surfer in the world.
2. Living in the Dominican Republic was a great experience
Although the lifestyle was very different from the one she now enjoys as an actress, Monroe found the experience of living and training in the Dominican Republican one of the best of her life. “We were living in a tiny little town,” she recalled to the Irish Times. “We were friends with every local. There are extremely talented kiteboarders there — the best in the world — but all they have is their kiteboard. They live in shacks with dirt floors and plywood roofs. Everybody eats rice and beans made in huge pots. For me, it was a great experience.”
3. She designed her own clothesline
While Monroe was still balancing being a professional kitesurfer with her fledgling acting career, she signed a lucrative contract with Airbound Apparel to design a range of women’s attire. The first collection of t-shirts and tank tops appeared in the spring of 2012, with all proceeds from the sale going to various local charities in the Dominican Republic.
4. Her movie debut was alongside Zac Efron
In 2012, Monroe made her big-screen debut opposite Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron in At Any Price. Monroe found the experience of shooting her first film a nerve-wracking experience, as she shared with SB Mag. “I didn’t meet Zac or Dennis until the shooting started,” she said. “I was so nervous. I was worried Zac was going to be arrogant because half the world is obsessed with him. Then I got there and met everyone and they were so down-to-earth and nice.”
5. She’s been called a Scream Queen
As IMDB notes, since Monroe made a splash in thrillers like The Guest (2014), and It Follows (2014), she’s become known to many as this generation’s “Scream Queen”. While Monroe herself doesn’t seem too enamored with the title, she’s admitted she’s a huge fan of the horror genre. “I grew up with horror,” she told Vogue. “My dad loves movies and he passed a lot of them on to me. There’s something so fun about them. The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween. Those are the greats.”
6. She’s an award winner
Ever since Monroe burst onto the scene with At Any Price, she’s been making waves across the movie scene… and as you’d expect, that kind of success translates into awards. Her first two a Best Scream Queen award from Home Media Magazine Awards and a Breakthrough Performer award from Hamptons International Film Festival) were both presented in recognition of her stellar performance in It Follows (2014). In 2016, she was up to her old tricks again, scooping a Best Actress trophy from Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for It Follows, and a Best Ensemble of The Universe award from CinemaCon for Independence Day: Resurgence. Her latest (but certainly not last) honor came with a Best Lead Actress award at the Hell’s Half Mile Film and Musical Festival.
7. She’s appeared in two TV shows
While Monroe is best known for her work in film, she wasn’t averse to the odd TV appearance during the early part of her career. Her small-screen debut came in 2011 as Maya Wynne in an episode of Eleventh Hour. 2 years later, she won huge acclaim for her performance as Joan in the made for TV feature, Flying Monkeys.
8. She’s dating Joe Keery
Monroe has been dating Stranger Things actor Joe Keery ever since the two first met in May 2017. Despite going public with their relationship in October 2017, both Monroe and Keery have worked hard to keep their love life out of the media spotlight- if you’re thinking of browsing their respective Instagram pages for pictures of the two together, save yourself the bother.
9. Maika isn’t her birth name
Monroe was born Dillon Monroe Buckley in May 1993. When her mother was pregnant with her, she flitted between Malika and Dillon, but ultimately settled on the latter. After Monroe learned about what her name could have been, she decided it was a much better fit. “In first grade, I went around to all my teachers and said that I’m no longer responding to Dillon, now I’m Maika,’ she explained to Under the Radar. “(I) went to the principal, went to my neighbors and told them, “I’m Maika now.” My mom thought, “Oh yeah, that’s good. Go for it,” thinking this will last for a week. Right? And it stuck ever since. Now I’m Maika.”
10. She’s a millionaire
Considering how new she is to the game, Monroe’s fortune isn’t quite up there with some of Hollywood’s other big hitters, but it’s well on the way. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the talented actress is currently worth a cool $1 million.
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