Some television series on Netflix have given us quite a reality check. Their characters are so real that the audiences can relate to their personal life. One such limited series by Netflix is Maid. Directed by Molly Smith Metzler and adapted from the best-selling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land, Maid explores the hard work and sacrifices made by a single other to raise a kid. While the protagonist of the show is Alex, it is Paula played by Andie MacDowell that steals the show in Maid.
The show follows a single mother, Alex, played by Margaret Qualley, who escapes from the abusive relationship with her daughter for a better life, just like her mother, Paula. Alex’s strength is tested in every step of her life mostly by her bipolar mother Paula. Played by Andie MacDowell, Paula is absent most of the time as a mother to Alex in Maid. In a recent interview with Netflix Queue MacDowell shares her inspiration for her character on the show.
Paula in Maid
In Maid Alex’s bipolar mother, Paula, is a well-meaning person, but she was largely absent from her life. She has been looking for someone, a genuine man who will encourage and love for her creativity, but she only finds those who always take advantage of her innocence. Her unresolved traumas and mental illness make her more delicate. Andie gracefully plays the character of Paula, which reminds us of her talent. Andie admits she was thrilled to play this character. She says, “It was the first time in a very, very long time that I’d had the opportunity to really embrace and embody a person.”
"These opportunities are rare in my experience — a role where you really have so much to offer, so much to bring."
— Queue (@netflixqueue) February 7, 2022
With the absolute brilliance that MacDowell is on this show, we all wonder how she prepared for her role. The actress break down her process.
How does Andie MacDowell prepare for her character, Paula?
In conversation with Netflix Queue, she shares her routine and how she prepared for the role. During the lockdown, MacDowell was alone and was contacting no other person face-to-face. Unsurprisingly, she felt like a crazy person. She used to talk to herself and laugh of her own and in those erratic laughter, she found inspiration for her new role during isolation.
Andie MacDowell always impressed us with her breezy South Carolinian charm and wit in films like Green Card, Groundhog Day, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. But Maid differed greatly from all her roles, and she takes up this role as a challenge. She had to play the role of a bi-polar, erratic woman. However, empathizing and understanding the emotions and actions of her character wasn’t hard for Andie because she had grown up in a family that struggled with mental instabilities.
Margaret Qualley and Andie MacDowell from MAID are actually mother-daughter in real life 😱💖 (Netflix) pic.twitter.com/znJ6RbX48S
— PrettyLittleThing (@OfficialPLT) October 13, 2021
MacDowell explains she has deeper empathy towards Paula than she ever had before for someone in this position. She says, “You can play a character that you think nobody is going to care for or love. And that’s what’s so beautiful about playing dark characters; they’re usually a lot more interesting. And if you find the nuances in them, and the heart, people will see it.”
She also added, “What I found most fascinating is how many people would have these huge, gigantic smiles on their faces when they’d meet me because they loved Paula.”
Well, MacDowell’s dedication shows in her performance that has captured many fan hearts. While we aren’t sure if the show will return for a second season, we surely love Paula and would love to see her return. What are your thoughts on Paula and Andie’s portrayal of the character? Comment down below.