“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, by way of Zoom from her art-laden New Orleans apartment, the magical nuances of her upcoming TV sequence Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, an adaptation of the writer’s e-book sequence that premieres early subsequent 12 months on AMC. Given Alexandra’s critically jam-packed agenda of overdue, it’s a surprise she will be able to be mindful her personal title, let on my own the biography of the neurosurgeon protagonist she portrays, Rowan, who learns handiest in maturity that she is descended from a protracted line of witches.
Now, for those who’re curious as to simply how actually filled that calendar of Alexandra’s is, right here’s a handy guide a rough peek: An insignificant 48 hours after posing for this Girls’s Well being duvet (and nonetheless wearing the beautiful red professional hands and fingernails care accomplished on-set), Alexandra tied the knot with Hollywood manufacturer Andrew Shape on the French Quarter’s ancient Preservation Corridor in entrance of an intimate amassing of visitors. (“I sought after it to really feel like a excellent, simple time with out the power of conference,” she says of the laid-back affair.) Alexandra then returned to manufacturing on Mayfair Witches for a handful of days sooner than sitting for this interview. The very subsequent day, she launched into a “mini honeymoon” with Shape: a street commute via Mississippi and Alabama with the seashores of Florida’s panhandle as their ultimate forestall.
Alexandra admits the entire planning-a-wedding-while-filming-a-TV-show factor used to be worrying. However as soon as the vows have been exchanged and the second one line (the parade recessional main the marriage birthday celebration from the venue to the reception) started its march down Royal Boulevard, she used to be left with a way of calm. “After I met Andrew, we simply each knew,” she says. “The marriage used to be superb; it felt a little bit like an inevitable conclusion. So I think truly at peace.”
It’s transparent after talking with Alexandra for only a twinkling of an eye that she has an innate sense of when one thing feels proper, and—most likely extra vital—when one thing doesn’t. It’s an intuition we would possibly all have however aren’t at all times nice about tuning in to. For Alexandra, that intuition is a guiding gentle.
Rising up on New York’s Higher East Aspect because the eldest kid of 2 attorney oldsters (her siblings, Matthew and Catharine, also are actors), Alexandra felt power to be triumphant—to get excellent grades and attend a prestigious faculty. However regardless of being a voracious reader, she didn’t truly excel at school. She tended to gravitate extra towards creative interests moderately than educational ones, so she embraced a special outlet for her power: performing.
“I believed it used to be this implausible alternative to really feel in a global the place I continuously felt stifled,” she says. “I used to be an emotional kid and really delicate and candy. I felt issues deeply.”
Alexandra reduce her tooth in kids’s theater, then moved directly to ads. Her first—or a minimum of the primary the place you’ll see her face—used to be for SnackWell’s Satan’s Meals Cookie Truffles (be mindful the ones?!). A job at the cleaning soap opera All My Youngsters adopted at age 16, however she used to be fired after twelve months.
“I wasn’t an excellent actress,” Alexandra says of her early days. “I may memorize my strains, however discovering my digicam, discovering my gentle, even finding out find out how to stroll naturally—it took numerous follow. I knew one thing used to be flawed, however I knew I may repair it. I knew that I liked what I did and that I may well be higher.”
So as a substitute of giving up, Alexandra cast forward, enrolling in an performing path at the Meisner method. (“It’s so much about repetition—in the long run, the aim is to create one thing that’s actual beneath imaginary cases.”) And thru finding out, training, and critiquing her personal performances, she progressed. Her step forward got here in 2010, enjoying 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 used to be nonetheless running, however the roles weren’t propelling her occupation ahead in the best way, say, True Detective had.
“Within the couple years previous to the pandemic, I knew the paintings I had to be doing, nevertheless it simply wasn’t taking place,” she says. “I used to be like, ‘The place am I going?’”
Then she won a decision for a component that may each creatively satisfy her and lend a hand chart a brand new path: “[Creator] Mike White needs you to get on a airplane and cross to Hawaii. However right here’s the catch: You’ll’t depart the 4 Seasons.” Sure, that roughly used to be the pitch that persuaded Alexandra to signal directly to the HBO restricted sequence The White Lotus, during which she performed a newlywed journalist at the honeymoon from hell. Her laborious paintings right through less-than-ideal pandemic stipulations paid off, incomes Alexandra her first Emmy nomination. “I by no means be expecting these items to occur,” she says of the exhibit’s good fortune. “They continuously wonder me. I do exactly what I like.”
Which brings us again to that head-spinning agenda she’s juggling for Mayfair Witches, her first main TV position. Lengthy days on-set require Alexandra to handle a nimble readiness, in each thoughts and physique, and he or she has two secret guns for that: sizzling yoga and acupuncture. “If I do them back-to-back, it’s nearly like a pc rebooting,” she says.
Alexandra used to be offered to acupuncture on the age of 23, when she used to be affected by a frozen shoulder (i.e., joint ache and stiffness). She began going ceaselessly, and after 3 months, her shoulder thawed—and he or she used to be offered. She’s so into the Chinese language drugs follow, which she says additionally aids her sleep and pressure ranges, that she pondered going to acupuncture faculty only to be told extra about it. “I’m obsessed,” she says. “I’ve had the needles far and wide—everywhere my physique.”
And on that ultimate account, she isn’t joking. A couple of years again, she used to be referred to a practitioner who specialised in five-element acupuncture, a modality that emphasizes the unity of the “5 parts” of advent—wooden, hearth, earth, steel, and water—inside us. After the acupuncturist assessed Alexandra, she delivered her advice: “She is going, ‘I’m going to must needle your perineum. Have you learnt what this is?’ 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 will be able to let you know,” she says, flashing her megawatt grin, “I felt like 1,000,000 greenbacks day after today.”
She dietary supplements the acupuncture and steamy yoga with weekly strength-training classes. Alexandra began sweating with movie star teacher Patrick Murphy in 2015 forward of Baywatch, and he or she stays a devoted consumer as a result of his emphasis on capability and protection. Despite the fact that she will get a full-body exercise, the duo specializes in again strengthening for posture (with workouts like dumbbell rows, dynamic bridges, and opposite flies) and hip and glute activation for Alexandra’s function of a larger butt (using strikes like clamshells, Bulgarian break up squats, and strolling lunges). Right here, too, Alexandra is devoted. “She places within the paintings and not appears for shortcuts,” says Murphy.
When no longer within the fitness center, Alexandra relishes out of doors time, whether or not it’s a swim within the ocean or a hike at the path. “I’ve discovered that my physique heals quicker and responds higher if I’m in track with myself and will also be in nature,” she says.
Alexandra’s method to consuming may 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 similar each day in recent years: a turkey sandwich with cheese, mustard, and mayo, which is straightforward to consume in between takes. Her snack is no matter chocolate is to be had at craft services and products (chocolate is chocolate!), whereas dinner is normally a bowl of pasta with veggies and olive oil. When she has unfastened evenings at domestic, Alexandra chefs extra concerned foods like steak and contemporary greens or hearty soup.
Every other at-home process she’s transform ardent about is enjoying chess with Shape. “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 combat over chess.”
Despite the fact that Alexandra swears she’s no longer a aggressive individual, chess turns out to unearth one thing primal inside her: “I’m a complete monster,” she says of her must-win mentality. And in conventional Alexandra model, she’s been taking the right kind steps to make sure she does.
“I began a Chess.com account and performed to check out to be told,” she says. “I were given so excellent that the following time we performed, Andrew used to be like, ‘What’s happening right here?’ I used to be like, ‘I don’t know.…’”
That anecdote completely sums her up: logging the hours to hone a zeal, and doing so with a grin (or wink). It’s with that upbeat spirit that she’ll manner the following bankruptcy as an actor, spouse, stepmom to Shape’s two children, and no matter different titles she earns. “All I will do is be constructive and hope it’s sure,” she says. “Although it isn’t at all times what I be expecting.” That outlook, particularly these days, calls for true magic to conjure up.
Photographed via Ben Watts. Styled via Kristen Saladino. Hair: Ryan Trygstad. Make-up: Gita Bass at The Wall Staff. Beauty treatment: Elle Gerstein. Set design: Cate Geiger Kalus.
Amy Wilkinson is an leisure editor who additionally makes a speciality of well being and wellness. When no longer modifying or writing, she will also be discovered educating Pilates as a comprehensively qualified trainer.