If you are looking to craft a list of those actors who are up next, sure to take Hollywood by storm, Emma Malouff should be at the top of it. After landing a breakout role in Ryan Murphy’s gripping Impeachment: American Crime Story, the 18-year-old actor on the rise firmly cemented herself as one sure to be booked and busy from here on out. And, with the talent having most recently earned a place in the upcoming 1883 series, in which she is set to portray the character of Mary Abel Dutton, that fact becomes all the more clear.
When discussing her most recent role, Emma explained, “Acting on Impeachment and having the chance to work with both Ryan Murphy and Sarah Paulson was an absolute ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming’ moment! The whole cast and crew were beyond phenomenal and made my experience all the more memorable. This show casts a new light on a narrative everybody thinks they may know, and I hope that audiences walk away with empathy and a broader perspective for the women of this story.”
Ahead of the release of the sure-to-be-hit series, 1883, the actor took some time to chat to Wonderland about her time spent working on Impeachment: American Crime Story and her dream collaborators. Head below to read our interview with Emma Malouff…
Hey Emma, how are you? How has 2021 been for you?
Hey! Thank you so much for asking, and thank you for having me! 2021 was definitely one of my most exciting and challenging years yet. At the beginning of the year, I began filming on Ryan Murphy’s incredible Impeachment: American Crime Story, where I play Allison Tripp, the daughter of Linda Tripp portrayed by the brilliant Sarah Paulson, turned 18, moved out and in with roommates, started paying some bills and learned more about myself and who I am. Later in the year, I booked the role of Mary Abel Dutton, niece to Margaret and James Dutton, played by Faith Hill and Tim Mcgraw in Taylor Sheridan’s breathtaking 1883. When glancing back on this past year, my heart is filled with so much gratitude for everything and everyone that has helped me grow as both an actress and individual. There were definitely a fair amount of tears, questions, growing pains, and discomfort, but also so many laughs, smiles, and memories, and experiences I will never forget.
Loads of people tried out some unusual skills in lockdown last year, did you try anything new?
Last year, during the lockdown, I had the opportunity to move back home to Austin for eight months to live with my family. My parents are pastors of City Reach Church – if you are ever in town, come and check us out! Like many businesses, churches, and organisations, we had to adapt and put everything online. I helped our kids ministry produce all of their online content by directing, writing, and editing the online experience for City Reach Kids. My friend taught me how to use the DaVinci Resolve editing software, and since I love every aspect of filmmaking, it was a challenge I really enjoyed. I wouldn’t consider myself an editing expert, but my knowledge and instincts for piecing cuts together, sound, lighting, and timing have definitely advanced. Working with DaVinci, I even learned how to key and colour greenscreen, and my dad, being the amazing dad that he is, set up a whole editing desk for me in my room, complete with a monitor and speakers. It was so cool.
How did you first get into acting, what sparked the interest?
Ever since I can remember, I have found myself drawn to acting and the beauty of filmmaking. From a young age, I would retreat into my imagination and create other worlds where I transformed myself into different characters I connected with from films and shows. I lived in a constant daydream, adventuring through magical lands and creating daring journeys on the playground at school and the quiet of my closet. I would make films on my mum’s iPad with my friends and run away to the imaginary worlds that swirled in my mind. For 12 years, I studied ballet while taking acting classes on the side. I chased the thrill that came with performing on stage, and finally, I realised that it was the acting side of ballet that I adored so much. So, I moved to Los Angeles for a pilot season at the age of 14 and never looked back.
And then you landed your breakout role in Ryan Murphy’s ACS, how did you get involved in it and what was it like working on the project?
I was fortunate enough to have had this project come across my path and the opportunity to audition for it. It was a crazy, exciting process that took eight months, but that’s show business for you. When I booked the role, it was a sweet sigh of relief and I could hardly wait to get started on production. Acting on Impeachment and having the chance to work with both Ryan Murphy and Sarah Paulson was an absolute ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming’ moment! The whole cast and crew were beyond phenomenal and made my experience all the more memorable. This show casts a new light on a narrative everybody thinks they may know, and I hope that audiences walk away with empathy and a broader perspective for the women of this story. It was an honour to step into Allison’s shoes, to truly empathise with her and play a part in the telling of this piece of history. My character, Allison Tripp, daughter of Linda Tripp, was my age when this event took place. To truly experience a sliver of what she may have felt, I had to ask myself, “how would I feel if my mum received death threats and every inch of her life criticised? How would I feel if my privacy and the privacy of my family was taken away in an instant?” I had to make those moments true for myself. I will never forget my time on Impeachment and the wonderful individuals that worked so hard to make it happen!