“I don’t fly on a broomstick or lean over a cauldron.”
It’s early afternoon on a Saturday, and 36-year-old actor Alexandra Daddario is explaining, through Zoom from her art-laden New Orleans rental, the paranormal nuances of her upcoming TV sequence Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, an adaptation of the writer’s e-book sequence that premieres early subsequent yr on AMC+. Given Alexandra’s severely jam-packed schedule of late, it’s a surprise she will bear in mind her personal title, not to mention the biography of the neurosurgeon protagonist she portrays, Rowan, who learns solely in maturity that she is descended from a protracted line of witches.
Now, should you’re curious as to only how actually crammed that calendar of Alexandra’s is, right here’s a fast peek: A mere 48 hours after posing for this Girls’s Well being cowl (and nonetheless sporting the gorgeous pink manicure carried out on-set), Alexandra tied the knot with Hollywood producer Andrew Kind on the French Quarter’s historic Preservation Corridor in entrance of an intimate gathering of visitors. (“I wished it to really feel like a great, simple time with out the strain of conference,” she says of the laid-back affair.) Alexandra then returned to manufacturing on Mayfair Witches for a handful of days earlier than sitting for this interview. The very subsequent day, she launched into a “mini honeymoon” with Kind: a highway journey by Mississippi and Alabama with the seashores of Florida’s panhandle as their ultimate cease.
Alexandra admits the entire planning-a-wedding-while-filming-a-TV-show factor was anxious. However as soon as the vows had been exchanged and the second line (the parade recessional main the marriage get together from the venue to the reception) started its march down Royal Road, she was left with a way of calm. “After I met Andrew, we simply each knew,” she says. “The marriage was fantastic; it felt a bit like an inevitable conclusion. So I really feel actually at peace.”
It’s clear after talking with Alexandra for simply a short time that she has an innate sense of when one thing feels proper, and—maybe extra vital—when one thing doesn’t. It’s an intuition we might all have however aren’t all the time nice about tuning in to. For Alexandra, that intuition is a guiding gentle.
Rising up on New York’s Higher East Facet because the eldest baby of two lawyer dad and mom (her siblings, Matthew and Catharine, are additionally actors), Alexandra felt strain to succeed—to get good grades and attend a prestigious faculty. However regardless of being a voracious reader, she didn’t actually excel in class. She tended to gravitate extra towards inventive pursuits somewhat than tutorial ones, so she embraced a unique outlet for her power: appearing.
“I assumed it was this unbelievable alternative to really feel in a world the place I continuously felt stifled,” she says. “I used to be an emotional baby and really delicate and candy. I felt issues deeply.”
Alexandra lower her enamel in youngsters’s theater, then moved on to commercials. Her first—or at the least the primary the place you possibly can see her face—was for SnackWell’s Satan’s Meals Cookie Desserts (bear in mind these?!). A job on the cleaning soap opera All My Youngsters adopted at age 16, however she was fired after one yr.
“I wasn’t an excellent actress,” Alexandra says of her early days. “I might memorize my traces, however discovering my digicam, discovering my gentle, even studying methods to stroll naturally—it took numerous apply. I knew one thing was incorrect, however I knew I might repair it. I knew that I cherished what I did and that I could possibly be higher.”
So as an alternative of giving up, Alexandra solid forward, enrolling in an appearing course on the Meisner approach. (“It’s so much about repetition—finally, the aim is to create one thing that’s actual below imaginary circumstances.”) And thru studying, teaching, and critiquing her personal performances, she improved. Her breakthrough got here in 2010, taking part in Annabeth within the film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Memorable activates HBO’s True Detective and the Baywatch film garnered additional consideration within the business. However then…Alexandra hit a wall. She was nonetheless working, however the roles weren’t propelling her profession ahead in the way in which, say, True Detective had.
“Within the couple years previous to the pandemic, I knew the work I wanted to be doing, nevertheless it simply wasn’t taking place,” she says. “I used to be like, ‘The place am I going?’”
Then she obtained a name for a component that might each creatively fulfill her and assist chart a brand new course: “[Creator] Mike White desires you to get on a airplane and go to Hawaii. However right here’s the catch: You may’t depart the 4 Seasons.” Sure, that roughly was the pitch that persuaded Alexandra to signal on to the HBO restricted sequence The White Lotus, wherein she performed a newlywed journalist on the honeymoon from hell. Her arduous work throughout less-than-ideal pandemic circumstances paid off, incomes Alexandra her first Emmy nomination. “I by no means count on these items to occur,” she says of the present’s success. “They continuously shock me. I simply do what I like.”
Which brings us again to that head-spinning schedule she’s juggling for Mayfair Witches, her first main TV function. Lengthy days on-set require Alexandra to keep up a nimble readiness, in each thoughts and physique, and she or he has two secret weapons for that: sizzling yoga and acupuncture. “If I do them back-to-back, it’s nearly like a pc rebooting,” she says.
Alexandra was launched to acupuncture on the age of 23, when she was affected by a frozen shoulder (i.e., joint ache and stiffness). She began going commonly, and after three months, her shoulder thawed—and she or he was offered. She’s so into the Chinese language medication apply, which she says additionally aids her sleep and stress ranges, that she contemplated going to acupuncture college solely to study extra about it. “I’m obsessed,” she says. “I’ve had the needles in every single place—throughout my physique.”
And on that final account, she isn’t joking. A number of years again, she was referred to a practitioner who specialised in five-element acupuncture, a modality that emphasizes the concord of the “5 components” of creation—wooden, hearth, earth, steel, and water—inside us. After the acupuncturist assessed Alexandra, she delivered her advice: “She goes, ‘I’m going to should needle your perineum. Have you learnt what that’s?’ And I’m going, ‘My taint?!’”
Yep, the taint. A real diehard, Alexandra agreed to the position in addition to the corresponding needle level proper above the gumline in her mouth. “I’ll inform you,” she says, flashing her megawatt grin, “I felt like 1,000,000 bucks the subsequent day.”
She dietary supplements the acupuncture and steamy yoga with weekly strength-training classes. Alexandra began sweating with celeb coach Patrick Murphy in 2015 forward of Baywatch, and she or he stays a loyal consumer due to his emphasis on performance and security. Although she will get a full-body exercise, the duo focuses on again strengthening for posture (with workouts like dumbbell rows, dynamic bridges, and reverse flies) and hip and glute activation for Alexandra’s purpose of an even bigger butt (using strikes like clamshells, Bulgarian break up squats, and strolling lunges). Right here, too, Alexandra is devoted. “She places within the work and by no means appears for shortcuts,” says Murphy.
When not within the gymnasium, Alexandra relishes out of doors time, whether or not it’s a swim within the ocean or a hike on the path. “I’ve discovered that my physique heals sooner and responds higher if I’m in tune with myself and could be in nature,” she says.
Alexandra’s strategy to consuming can also be about giving her physique what it must thrive. The day begins with espresso—a cappuccino with almond or oat milk—and a breakfast of yogurt and fruit or egg whites with spinach and toast. Lunch has been the identical each day recently: a turkey sandwich with cheese, mustard, and mayo, which is simple to eat in between takes. Her snack is no matter chocolate is offered at craft companies (chocolate is chocolate!), whereas dinner is normally a bowl of pasta with veggies and olive oil. When she has free evenings at house, Alexandra cooks extra concerned meals like steak and contemporary greens or hearty soup.
One other at-home exercise she’s develop into ardent about is taking part in chess with Kind. “It’s our model of an evening out on the membership,” she jokes. “We’re gonna get a little bit wild, open a bottle of wine, and struggle over chess.”
Although Alexandra swears she’s not a aggressive individual, chess appears to unearth one thing primal inside her: “I’m a complete monster,” she says of her must-win mentality. And in typical Alexandra vogue, she’s been taking the correct steps to make sure she does.
“I began a Chess.com account and performed to attempt to study,” she says. “I obtained so good that the subsequent time we performed, Andrew was like, ‘What’s occurring right here?’ I used to be like, ‘I don’t know.…’”
That anecdote completely sums her up: logging the hours to hone a ardour, and doing so with a smile (or wink). It’s with that upbeat spirit that she’ll strategy the subsequent chapter as an actor, spouse, stepmom to Kind’s two children, and no matter different titles she earns. “All I can do is be optimistic and hope it’s optimistic,” she says. “Even when it isn’t all the time what I count on.” That outlook, particularly these days, requires true magic to conjure up.
Photographed by Ben Watts. Styled by Kristen Saladino. Hair: Ryan Trygstad at Crosby Carter Administration. Make-up: Gita Bass at The Wall Group. Nails: Elle Gerstein at Crosby Carter Administration, utilizing Le Chat’s Good Match Gel Polish. Set design: Cate Geiger Kalus.
Amy Wilkinson is an leisure editor who additionally focuses on well being and wellness. When not modifying or writing, she could be discovered instructing Pilates as a comprehensively licensed teacher.