Let’s cut to the chase: Maddie Ziegler is the epitome of starbound It girl material. Largely by virtue of her ability to attract any camera with near magnetic force, the 19-year-old Pittsburgh native is dominating worldwide screens one pivotal role at a time. As if it was ever a question that one of the most pronounced dancers of the 2010s would find herself working within the big leagues, she continues to affirm her rightful place as one of Gen-Z’s in-demand rising scene stealers.
A decade ago, Ziegler was dancing her way into our hearts across television screens on Lifetime’s hit series Dance Moms; nowadays, she’s hardly the doe-eyed 8-year-old we were introduced to in years past. In a transition from the competition stage to movie marquees, she traded in her rhinestoned costumes for scripts and studios on some of the most coveted Hollywood lots. Today, the name “Maddie Ziegler” stuns through the credits for monumental titles from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story to HBO Max’s The Fallout.
On an evident artistic roll, Ziegler is constantly outdoing herself — every new project added to her résumé is somehow even better than the last. To that, she credits her innate determination and early drive for success discovered at the dance studio. “Dancing helped me so much going into acting,” she says, “It’s partly the reason I even had interest. I realized that I was playing a lot of different roles in all of the dance pieces.”
What’s clear to anyone familiar with Ziegler’s dance background is that she makes it look a little too easy. From endless fouetté turns to soaring leaps, it became obvious that commanding the stage is second nature, but despite every pointed toe, the true star of the show was always her ability to convey a response from the crowd. If a dance is sad, Ziegler makes us cry. If we need to laugh, rest assured she delivers. “Dancing really helped me realize there’s intention behind a specific emotion,” she shares. “It’s not just, ‘Oh, I’m sad here.” It’s ‘let’s build why you’re sad.’ If you can internalize it, then you can portray that when you’re dancing.”
Performer Maddie Ziegler sits down with Drew to talk about when she first met Drew, what she learned from Sia, and what it was like to work with Steven Spielberg on West Side Story!
“The Fallout,” the new movie from Maddie Ziegler and Jenna Ortega, has been acquired by Warner Bros. Pictures, and will premiere on HBO Max in all available markets on January 27.
The movie follows high schooler Vada (Ortega) as she navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family and friends, as well as her view of the world, are forever altered.
Also starring in the film are Niles Fitch, Shailene Woodley, Will Ropp, Lumi Pollack, John Ortiz and Julie Bowen.
Be sure to watch the trailer here below!
Head over to the gallery for some screen captures, a new movie poster, promotional stills and behind the scenes.
Welcome to MADDIE ZIEGLER’s world. SBJCT partnered with Chanel to feature this extraordinary young force who from a childhood touring with Sia to MUSIC has had the entire world watching. Maddie spoke with EW about her latest project, The Fallout, finding catharsis her art, and using self expression to heal.
How old were you when you started dancing? And what led to Dance Moms? Can you explain to our readers who may not be familiar the principle of the show and your role in it?
I was two years old when I started dancing. I started at a ballet school, and by the age of four I transferred to a competition studio. When I was about seven years old, we had a production company come to the studio and interview and audition some families. My family got cast and ended up doing six seasons. We basically just learned new dances every week and competed with them every weekend. It was a fast-paced environment, and had lots of drama.
You and your sister did the show together- tell me about the dynamics of being in competition together, and maintaining your relationship and nurturing it within these structures…
It’s interesting how it worked growing up filming with my sister. I couldn’t imagine doing it without her, but at the same time we fought like crazy! Our relationship didn’t start to become incredible until after we left the show. We would always butt heads because we were so consumed by one another. Also, during her entire experience on the show, people were constantly comparing her to me, which truly breaks my heart. We are two different people. Neither of us is better than the other. She’s my best friend, and I love seeing her mature into the beautiful girl she is today.