Maid showrunner on the ‘challenge’ of working with young cast member: ‘It was complicated’

Maid: Netflix releases trailer for new drama show

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Netflix’s hit miniseries Maid highlighted the realities of a single mother Alex (played by Margaret Qualley) trying to escape domestic violence with her young daughter Maddie (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet). As well as exploring the difficulties of navigating the US social security system, executive producer John Well opened up on the challenges the crew faced off-screen.

Throughout the series, viewers watched the emotional scenes of Alex constantly facing hurdles on her journey to freedom.

The young mother was trying to escape her abusive boyfriend Sean (Nick Robinson) and would consistently take one step forward and two steps back – through no fault of her own.

She encountered difficulties with employment, receiving state benefits and even pushback from untrustworthy family and friends.

However, while fans were watching Alex struggle on-screen, the crew were faced with the surprising challenge of working with a young cast member.

In a recent interview with Deadline executive producer John Wells shared: “Having a four-year-old playing a two-year-old becoming a three-year-old was complicated.

“Margaret spent so much time with Riley who’s a wonderful little girl that is it four-year-old to make that work and just directorially finding ways to make that work.

“While Rylea is wonderful, Margaret actually had to act for two, much of the time because she had to not only play her part but also make certain that Rylea understood what it is that she needed to do in those scenes.”

While Rylea didn’t have many lines, the majority of the story revolved around Maddy as she was Alex’s entire motivation to escape and find a safe and secure home.

During the interview, Margaret weighed in and revealed how she bonded and kept Rylea entertained between takes.

“I put her on to really like Superbird, I put on my shoulders and do this thing where she was a Superbird, she had lots of powers and I’d run laps with her on my shoulders.

“But yes, sometimes little girls don’t want to do things over and over again, like getting into a car seat or staying up really late and be in the middle of the highway.

“It was really hard to make her feel comfortable at times for sure or to get her to say anything sometimes.”

Despite the challenges, Margaret also added one of the heartfelt moments she shared on set with Rylea.

“The greatest thing ever, it was so rewarding when she would fall asleep in your arms you know it’s just the best feeling ever.

“You really have a breathing four-year-old in your arm and that’s just everything … it was such a gift and I just love her but it was definitely hard.”

Thankfully for fans, the hard work paid off as Alex and Molly shared a super-tight bond which looked authentic enough for the two to portray mother and daughter.

Although the series has received tons of critical acclaim, there has been no signs or hints for a second season.

Towards the end of Maid Alex was able to secure employment by starting her own cleaning services and gained entry to study a creative writing degree at College.

While her new life posed as a potential arc for season two, other fans were happy the series came to a close with a happy and satisfying end.

Maid is available to stream on Netflix.

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