Maddie Hasson On Playing A Sexual Assault Survivor on Impulse & Her Life Since Twisted
Maddie Hasson is the queen of dark TV shows. She first shot to fame when she starred on ABC Family’s hit show Twisted, and now she’s the star of the YouTube series Impulse, which will be returning to the streaming service for season two on October 16. We spoke to the 24-year-old actress ahead of the Impulse season two premiere to get an exclusive scoop on what’s in store for Henry this season, and also to hear about her life post-Twisted.
For those of you who haven’t seen the show, Impulse began airing in June of 2018 and became an instant hit with viewers. In her own words, Maddie describes Impulse as “a show about a small town and the ordinary people in it that face extraordinary circumstances.” She plays Henrietta (Henry) Cole, a 16-year-old girl who learns she has the ability to teleport as she’s being sexually assaulted by a classmate. The show’s premise is instigated with sexual assault, which is understandably a difficult task for any actor to take on. Because of this, Maddie told us that she did a lot to prepare herself for the role and to try and relate to the misunderstood character of Henry.
“I really related to Henry from the very beginning,” Maddie said. “She’s this teenage girl who is on her own a lot and I think she feels rejected by her peers so she sort of takes this ‘I’m too good for you anyway’ stance because she doesn’t want to be hurt — so she guards herself. I was quite like that as a teenager.”
“But then, when the assault element came into it,” she continued, “I met with a therapist who meets with assault victims and I spoke to her at length about what that’s like and what happens to you when it’s actually happening and how it affects the rest of your life. I also spoke to many people that I know who have experienced versions of assault in their own lives and tried to really be educated on the topic.”
A lot of people fans know Maddie from her role as Jo Masterson, the 16-year-old anti-social teenager she played for a year when she starred on Twisted. On the surface, there are a lot of aspects that are similar between the characters Jo and Henry, but Maddie explained just how different they are as characters deep down. “I think Jo is a lot more meek than Henry is. I think Jo has a quieter strength and she doesn’t have confidence, because she’s quite shy. Henry could be perceived as shy but she’s not. Jo wants to please everyone and she wants to have friends but she doesn’t have the confidence, whereas Henry has confidence, she just doesn’t want friends.”
It’s been five years since Maddie starred on the ABC Family show and in terms of her acting style, a lot has changed as the years passed. “I think that because I was so young I didn’t take myself as seriously [on Twisted],” she told us. “I wasn’t trying to actively choose to dive into the character’s emotional state as much as I try to do with Henry.” Despite the years gone by, Maddie still keeps in touch with her Twisted cast members and during our interview, told us she was “just messaging Kylie [Bunbury] today.”
From watching the trailer for season two of Impulse, it looks like Henry is in for a wild and dangerous ride as she runs from those who are threatened by her while also learning to further control her powers. Although she couldn’t give too much away, Maddie told us she thinks viewers “are probably going to be shocked by what’s to come.”
“One thing that I can say about season two is we really broaden Henry’s world,” she told us. “She has a lot more control over her power than she thought and it gets really big and she sort of has to decide whether she’s going to stay or go and how she’s going to protect those around her and from consequences of this huge growing power.”
The season two premiere of Impulse airs on YouTube on October 16 at 12 PM ET.