“I do not like being instructed what to do,” Alexa Demie tells me, describing why she by no means appreciated college. On paper, these phrases may simply be attributed to the character she’s greatest recognized for enjoying, flippant cheerleader Maddy Perez, however in-person, it’s clear that Demie and her Euphoria counterpart share little frequent floor.

Entering into the studio in an outsized Alexander Wang go well with and a gold nameplate “Demiegod” necklace, her lips painted a putting shade of rust brown, Demie performs the position of eclectic cool woman with ease. You won’t see it on display, or within the stylized portraits she shares on Instagram, however there’s an surprising heat to the actress. Demie breaks out into an unguarded match of laughter when she tells me the title of her first superstar crush, the joy audible in her signature Angeleno accent as we talk about her newest challenge.  

For somebody who hated her personal highschool expertise (and the entire “being instructed what to do” factor), it’s attention-grabbing that she’s gravitated towards tasks set within the very world she sought to flee. However setting apart, Demie’s filmography is hardly reflective of your common teen fare. This 12 months, the actress stars in two tasks from A24: Euphoria and Trey Edward Shults’s music-driven Waves, as Alexis, a highschool senior in a relationship that hinges between “Teenage Dream”-style ecstasy and flat-out dysfunction.

Demie’s position in Waves isn’t giant, nevertheless it’s pivotal — a sentiment that might be utilized to the small however mighty indie movie itself. However regardless of the comparatively small scale of the tasks she’s chosen up so far, Demie’s plans for the long run are huge. Subsequent up, she’ll be starring in and producing a movie concerning the lifetime of her mom, make-up artist Rose Mendez.

Trend and music are a part of the plan, too — so is schooling. She drops into dialog that she hopes to open a college at some point, as casually as if she’d instructed me she was ordering sushi for lunch. “I’ve a really particular concept for the college that I wish to make,” she assures me, explaining that she’d be conscious of the frustrations she confronted along with her public schooling. “My empire is being constructed,” she says with fun.

Learn on as Demie opens up about her new movie, bonding with the solid of Euphoria, her personal highschool expertise, and extra. 

Minor Waves spoilers forward.

InStyle: I do know that for Euphoria, you introduced in lots of the concepts on your character Maddy’s make-up. Did you do something related for Alexis’s aesthetic?

Alexa Demie: For Alexis they actually needed no make-up and if there was make-up they even needed it to be a bit tousled generally as a result of [my character] was going by these feelings, and so generally they might put a bit bit darker shadow beneath my eye or simply type of make me seem like I wasn’t all collectively. I needed to try this. I needed to have a extra pure tackle that character. I believe I all the time deliver a little bit of myself to every part. The make-up artist on that was additionally actually pretty and collaborative and we each agreed that rather less make-up for this, the higher.

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That completely is smart. You are nearly 25 now, however you’ve got performed highschool in few completely different tasks up to now couple years. What’s it prefer to form of return in time like that? Does it make you nostalgic on your personal highschool expertise in any respect?

Truthfully, no. I really like schoolwork. I really like analysis and I really like working, however I do not like being instructed what to do. I believe I struggled so much in class since you’re on a schedule and also you’re being instructed what to do and when you possibly can go to the toilet. I used to be all the time getting in hassle for speaking an excessive amount of. However no, I do not wish to return to highschool. I am good.

It does deliver again recollections of the connection that I used to be in at that age. However I used to be by no means concerned in any of the actions. I did not actually have any associates in my college. All of them went to different colleges and I simply met them round L.A.

Does it really feel in any respect such as you’re experiencing a brand new model of highschool?

It does, yeah. I imply, Euphoria felt like that simply because we’d all hang around on set, whether or not it was in our trailers, or we would stroll across the Sony lot or go throughout the road collectively. We might all the time say it looks like a subject journey as a result of it would be six of us going throughout the road to get espresso and tea. However that felt like highschool and that felt enjoyable as a result of I did not try this in my college. I did not go to any of my highschool dances — I did not go to my promenade or something. So it was enjoyable in that sense.

I believe that Euphoria and Waves have two of one of the best soundtracks of the 12 months, if not ever.

Proper?

As a musician your self, have these tasks and the music on them knowledgeable your inventive decisions in any respect?

[They haven’t informed] my inventive decisions, however they made me actually glad. I really like individuals with wonderful music style. I imply, that is one thing I search for after I’m studying scripts, as a result of each Sam [Levinson] and Trey [Edward Shults] put the titles of their songs [in the scripts]. Trey took it a bit additional. He embedded the songs into the script so you possibly can play them together with the scenes.

I type of search for that. If I see a very whack track within the script, I am instantly type of like, “I am not doing this.” I simply felt actually grateful as a result of music means so much to me. 

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You have labored with a ton of main names now, like Jonah Hill, Zendaya, Sterling Ok. Brown, Drake … Has anybody served as a form of mentor?

Not but, no. So far as Zendaya, I believe all the decisions that she makes are unimaginable, and I am very particular in that means, and I really feel like she is, too, and she or he even, I really feel like takes it a step additional and she or he’s finished such an unimaginable job along with her profession, so I actually respect her for that.

With out giving an excessive amount of away about Waves, your character’s journey has some noticeable parallels to Maddy’s in Euphoria. Are you afraid of getting typecast in any respect?

I would not say “afraid” as a result of I am very vocal concerning the tasks that I wish to do and the tasks that come to me. I’ve in all probability mentioned no to each script that is come since Euphoria and Waves. I in all probability would not tackle one other position like that immediately. If I did, it’d must be actually particular and there must be a very good cause as a result of I am able to discover different characters.

That is additionally a very onerous position to tackle, emotionally, I am certain. How do you come down from that?

Truthfully, I shot the pilot of Euphoria, went to Waves, after which got here again to Euphoria. Since Euphoria‘s ended, I really feel prefer it took me some time to get again, as a result of I am a fairly foolish individual — I really like comedy and I prefer to hold it gentle, I assume due to all of the darkness that has adopted me with these roles. It took me some time to get again to feeling like me once more.

Alexa Demie

Had been you in a position to relate to Alexis in any respect?

I did within the sense that I used to be in a relationship in highschool that was mentally type of risky. We might simply get into actually heated fights, so I associated in that means. I believe at that age, you’ve got lots of these fights as a result of you do not know methods to talk and also you’re studying, you are rising — you are type of going by the motions.

Waves

Then, so far as [Alexis’s] being pregnant, my mother had me at a very younger age and everybody instructed her to get an abortion as a result of she was so younger and she or he wasn’t going to have any assist financially. I bear in mind her telling me that she nearly did, after which she mentioned a wave of emotion came to visit her and she or he was like, “I can not do that.”

I attempted to really feel what my mother felt at the moment, in the best way that after she had that feeling, she was so adamant about retaining her child regardless of what everybody round her mentioned. I really like that about Alexis. I really like that she began to set boundaries and made that selection. […] I really like that she stood her floor.

That sounds so much such as you, what you have been simply describing, robust in your convictions.

Oh yeah. No, I believe I am extraordinarily robust in my life and never so submissive.

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Talking of your mom, I learn that you just’re producing a movie about her life. That is so cool. Has engaged on this movie modified your relationship along with her in any respect?

Yeah, I believe simply rising up modified my relationship along with her. We have all the time been extremely shut. She’s certainly one of my greatest associates. I believe we did have our points after I was a youngster and simply rising up, engaged on these movies and having to play these darkish roles, it helps me to type of relate and have compassion for anybody in these conditions.

Regardless of [my mom] not having any assist emotionally or financially, she was all the time the primary individual in my life. She was simply all the time so optimistic when the remainder of my household actually wasn’t. They did not actually consider that you can do what I am doing. She was all the time the one to be like, “You are able to do something you need.” I believe she instilled that in me.

Engaged on her movie has helped us heal lots of our traumas.

I am excited to see it. She should be so proud.

Oh my God. She’s so glad. She tells me on a regular basis, “I can not consider we’re making a film.” Yeah, it is going to be particular.

Along with all the various stuff you’re doing, you are additionally a dressmaker. Jennifer Lopez wore a pair of sun shades you designed?

In highschool, type of as a pastime, as a result of like I mentioned, I used to be just about alone on a regular basis, I’d simply stroll straight residence after college, and I’d rework classic frames and one way or the other they grew to become widespread and one way or the other J. Lo wore them on SNL, which was unimaginable as a result of I am not solely obsessive about J. Lo, however I am additionally obsessive about SNL.

Saturday Night Live

My mother’s a make-up artist, she was all the time into style, so I grew up with each style journal flooding my home. I’d simply sit there as a bit woman and flip by pages and sketch issues. I assumed I used to be going to go to design college. I acquired into Otis [College of Art and Design], went to orientation after which realized I hate college so I left. But it surely’s simply all the time been in me. Even with styling. I fashion myself, I prefer to customized design stuff for me to put on on a regular basis. It is simply one thing that is part of me, in order that’s all the time been the plan — to include that. Now, I am engaged on that.

Your characters, too, have such an affect, style-wise. Maddy is just like the 2019 fashion icon. Everyone seems to be dressing like her now. Is there something that you just wore on the present that you’d by no means put on in actual life?

Truthfully, in all probability the carnival outfit. It’s simply not me. I’d by no means put on it, particularly in purple, however I adore it and I believe it appears to be like unimaginable on. It was like my fantasy outfit that I’d by no means put on in my actual life, however actually loved sporting as Maddy.

Alexa Demie Euphoria

It was enjoyable along with her as a result of I acquired to essentially discover a extra female facet and put on lots of skirts and little matching units and stuff, which isn’t actually how I costume in my actual life.

What conjures up your personal aesthetic?

I really like ’90s style as a result of I believe that is simply what my mother cherished. I really like timeless. I do not like fashionable appears to be like. I generally want to put on no title designers or classic stuff over a brand new fashionable designer that everybody’s sporting. I believe one thing that is timeless which you could additionally put on 20 years in the past or 20 years later, I am simply drawn to these items. […] I’ve all the time thrifted my garments and put issues collectively as a result of I do not wish to exit and simply get the model that everybody’s sporting, although right this moment I am actually sporting all Alexander Wang, however actually I am obsessive about this go well with.

Alexa Demie

I went to a gap of a retailer lately and everybody was sporting the identical costume.

You see? It is like we already all look alike. You realize what I imply? Let’s reel it in.

SMALL TALK

Your neon nails in Waves, I am nonetheless mesmerized by them.

Waves

Is not that an incredible selection?

Sure! What’s your personal go-to nail shade or fashion?

I have been having enjoyable with my nails these days. I’ve actually had my nails finished since sixth grade. I began getting acrylics early. Fortunately, I do gel now so my nail will not be broken. However I believe a nude or a traditional French tip.

In the event you may solely use three make-up merchandise for the remainder of your life, which might you select?

1) Eyebrow gel. I take advantage of 5 completely different eyebrow gels. I’ve a drawer of them and I simply choose no matter comes out. I like Profit’s eyebrow gel and I like Milk’s eyebrow gel. 2) Eyeliner, liquid eyeliner. I really like the Pat McGrath liquid liner, it’s extremely pigmented and really darkish. 3) Lip liner. I actually love to modify it up. I really like MAC, traditional MAC lip liners. I really like Dior lip liners. I really like Huda lip liners.

Who was your first superstar crush?

Eminem. [Laughs]

What was your final binge-watch?

Oh, lately, The Finish of the F***king World. I simply watched season two. It was wonderful. It was so fast and so quick. I actually watched it in two nights.

Astrology — sure or no?

Sure, to a sure extent. I do not do each day horoscope stuff.

You are not on Co-Star?

No, I am not on Co-Star. I am not on The Sample. I refuse to dwell my life dictated by an app. I get it. I get why individuals use it. It may be useful, however I believe at occasions when it is destructive, it simply places you in a gap and you do not want to try this. However I really like the historical past of astrology. I really like entering into depth like [with my] chart. Typically I learn month-to-month horoscopes. However I am telling you, as quickly as I learn one thing destructive, I exit out. I am like, “No. No, my month’s going to be nice.”

Is there a selected Instagram account you’ve got been obsessive about these days?

No. I do know I am boring, however no. I am obsessive about seeing everyone recreate Maddy’s appears to be like and simply my appears to be like typically. They’re so gifted. These little women and boy. I am obsessive about seeing that.

Which superstar have you ever been essentially the most starstruck to fulfill thus far?

Adam Sandler. [Laughs] I do know … I used to be going to say Meryl Streep, however I did not meet her. We have been simply in an elevator collectively, and it was like, “Oh, it is Meryl Streep.” I do not get starstruck ever, however for some cause, [I did] assembly Adam Sandler. He simply has this presence. He was the nicest man ever. Now, each time he sees me, he is like, “Hey.” He remembers you, he’s a real human being.

What’s your favourite clothes merchandise that you just personal?

It modifications on a regular basis, however I simply acquired these classic, very low waisted Dolce & Gabbana denims that lace up within the again and have this entrance double panel factor. They’re actually intricate however so traditional, like [an] early 2000s second. And I acquired these chunky platforms … I am obsessive about a platform sandal as a result of I am simply so brief. It provides me this energy. I put these platforms on and I am right here.

What’s one factor you want extra individuals knew about you?

I am such a personal individual. I’ve gotten this since highschool — women would by no means communicate to me and I believe that is why I did not have lots of associates. Then, after I would lastly communicate to them, they might be like, “Oh, you are not a bitch.” I believe simply because, in highschool particularly, I used to be very introverted, and if I do not know you, I could be actually shy. I am both a whole introvert or a whole extrovert. I am good. Say hello.

This text has been edited and condensed for readability. 

Images by Meron Menghistab. Artwork course and manufacturing by Kelly Chiello.