Maude Apatow on Her Career, Nepotism and Her Mother’s Acting Advice


“My mom taught me to totally commit to everything… And whenever I feel hesitant over something in a scene, I hear her voice in the back of my head — and I go for it.” – Maude Apatow

Emma Stone's Advice to Actors
Emma Stone's Advice to Actors

Some people might feel that it would be easy to dismiss Maude Apatow as an actress because of her pedigree — not only is she the daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, but she has also appeared in four of her father’s films, including the recently-released King of Staten Island.  However, in an interview with Variety, Apatow speaks about how her father has influenced her career, the advice her mother has given her, and how a film that had nothing to do with either of her parents had a significant impact on her as an actress.

Naturally, Apatow admits that she was concerned that she would face accusations of nepotism for appearing in the film, but eventually shrugged them off. She recalls, “I didn’t know if I wanted to do it because I knew people would give me s— for it. But it’s so special to me; I don’t know when I’m ever going to work with my dad again, and he’s taught me everything I know. He’s my mentor. Why would I not do it?” In fact, she later says that she wants to follow even closer in her father’s footsteps by writing a project for herself. She explains, “I’ve always wanted to make my own work; I’m pretty hungry in that way. The best advice I ever got from my dad was probably to write for myself and learn to create things for myself.”

Accusations of nepotism have followed Apatow her entire career — even in projects that her father has nothing to do with. Regarding the HBO series Euphoria, she points out, “There were like 8,000 tweets saying, ‘Why the f— is Maude Apatow first in the credits!’ Well, because it’s alphabetical and my last name starts with ‘A.’ I definitely get why people would be mad at me, but I will literally spend the rest of my life trying to prove myself and work twice as hard.”

Her first significant acting role that didn’t involve either one of her parents was in 2016’s Other People, which was written and directed by Saturday Night Live writer Chris Kelly and loosely based on his own life. Of that experience, Apatow recalls, “Thinking about it now, working on that movie was kind of the moment I fully knew I wanted to be an actor. It was the first time I was on someone else’s set and I felt I had a real responsibility knowing how important this story was.”

As much of an influence Apatow’s father has been on her career, she also credits her mother for a key piece of motivational advice. She says, “My mom taught me to totally commit to everything, which sounds like a basic thing, but it’s so important. And whenever I feel hesitant over something in a scene, I hear her voice in the back of my head — and I go for it.”

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