Girl on the Rise: Maika Monroe

Maika Monroe was on track to become a world-renowned freestyle kiteboarder when Hollywood called. Suddenly, film sets replaced beaches, and within a few short years, the Santa Barbara native would find herself on her way to the top once again. The ascent, both rapid and impressive, began with parts in Labor Day and The Guest and took off when she landed her first starring gig in the award-winning 2015 horror flick It Follows. The role—that of a teenager who inherits a haunting, fatal curse after sleeping with her boyfriend—would ultimately put the 22-year-old on the map and have everyone talking.

Going into 2016, Monroe shows no sign of slowing down, starting with this month’s The 5th Wave, the first film installment of the young-adult science-fiction book trilogy of the same name. In the film, which also stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Monroe plays the raven-haired, gun-slinging Ringer, who she describes as the “kickass of the group.” She later went on to tell us, “[Ringer] was a part that I really fought for, because I think she’s such a cool role model for girls.”

In addition to The 5th Wave, which arrives in theaters tomorrow, Monroe is set to hit the big screen again this June alongside her childhood crush Jeff Goldblum in the long-awaited Independence Day sequel, Resurgence, followed by Bokeh and Hot Summer Nights later in the year.

Keeping Monroe’s budding career in mind, we invited the star into our studio to take on a trend that has demonstrated as much staying power as the actress herself: pleats. Below, we chat with our January Girl on the Rise about her upcoming projects, her statement-shoe obsession, and the Instagram account we should all be following.

Keep reading for our exclusive feature.