Lukita Maxwell all the time wished to pursue appearing however didn’t comprehend it was doable with out business connections. “I assumed that actors have been simply all nepotism infants,” Maxwell says. “If you happen to have been born into appearing, you have been born into royalty, and I couldn’t act as a result of I wasn’t born right into a household of actors.”
Now, she’s starring alongside Jason Segel and Harrison Ford on the Apple TV+ comedy Shrinking, which premieres Jan. 27. Maxwell performs Alice, the sturdy, impartial daughter to Segel’s Jimmy, a grieving therapist who has misplaced his spouse in an accident.
Created and co-written by Invoice Lawrence, Brett Goldstein and Segel, Shrinking packs plenty of business energy. “It was essentially the most intimidating trifecta of comedy I had ever seen,” the Indonesia-born actress, 21, remembers of her audition course of. “I didn’t suppose I used to be ever going to get the function. I didn’t suppose that I had the chops to do this.”
However upon assembly Segel, the actress says that the co-creator “actually responded” to how naturally taking part in the function got here to her. “The character of Alice brings this groundedness and humanity to the present slightly bit,” she says. “[She] is type of an anchor in that sense…It was very obvious from Alice’s character off the web page that it got here naturally to me as a result of, not too way back, I went via the majority of my adolescence.”
Following her efficiency on HBO Max’s coming-of-age dramedy Era — she had studied Shakespeare as a teenager earlier than making her onscreen debut on ABC’s Speechless in 2016 — Maxwell remembers the “nerve-wracking” feeling of her first week on the set of Shrinking. “Comedy scares the shit out of me,” the actress says with amusing. “I used to be within the firm of those extremely seasoned, great comedians. However after seeing them work and witnessing their craft, it simply type of fueled me.”
Maxwell’s character shares a number of one-on-one scenes with Ford, who performs blunt however down-to-earth therapist Phil Rhodes. “He’s a legend for a motive,” Maxwell says, calling him the “most unbelievable scene associate.” She says their scenes — the place Alice meets Phil for remedy periods — didn’t require a lot preparation. “The vitality was continuously oscillating between us,” she says. “We might go into this improv that generally lasted 5 minutes after a take.”
Because the dialog surrounding psychological well being continues to develop into extra normalized, Shrinking sees almost all of its characters in remedy, to 1 diploma or one other. After spending her teen years being raised within the city of St. George, Utah, the Los Angeles-based actress says she’s completely satisfied to see that instances — onscreen and off — are altering.
“As a queer teenager rising up in a brilliant repressive, extremely non secular city, actually going out and dressing the best way that you really want, expressing the best way that you’re, was an on a regular basis concern of being attacked,” Maxwell remembers. “I simply went again for Christmas, and I noticed a whole lot of very stunning indicators and exquisite exhibits of self-expression.”
She provides, “After watching the [Shrinking] episodes, that’s type of when it actually solidified that, ‘Oh, this present goes to imply one thing to lots of people’ and hopefully unfold the message that assistance is on the market.”
Impressed by Segel, Maxwell says she hopes to proceed in comedy. “I need to be a comic in the best way that [Jason] is a comic,” she explains. “He finds the ache in comedy, however he additionally finds the sunshine moments in darkish instances and is ready to bounce forwards and backwards.”
Subsequent, she’s set to seem in Tayarisha Poe’s Netflix drama The Younger Spouse alongside Sheryl Lee Ralph, Judith Gentle, Kiersey Clemons and Kelly Marie Tran. “I simply need to preserve sinking my tooth into juicy characters,” Maxwell says. “If the writing is nice, and if the character is vibrant, then I’m hungry for it.”
This story first appeared within the Jan. 18 concern of Latest Hollywood News journal. Click on right here to subscribe.