Let Maddie Ziegler reintroduce herself. The 20-year-old wunderkind is no stranger to playing different characters – whether on stage as a performer, in her profession as an actor, or on set with RUSSH in head-to-toe Versace and a wig she expressed made her feel “transported.” For those of us who have charted her meteoric rise to fame, Ziegler has been a lot of things for a lot of different people. Now, she’s just ready to be herself.
“It’s always been quite tricky for me, because I’m a people pleaser and I’m really trying to find the balance. I’ve been trying to unlearn a lot of the habits that stem from worrying about what everyone thinks of me. It’s such a waste of energy. If I feel good about what I’m doing, why should anyone else’s opinion get in my way? I’m really trying to put myself first. It’s hard but I’m getting there slowly.”
VERSACE dress; stylist’s own vintage necklace (worn throughout).
VERSACE dress and ring.
It's a space she’s ready to reclaim not only creatively, but stylistically too. Just like any other adolescent who has struggled with navigating their personal style, Ziegler emphasises that the process was deeply reliant on a growth in confidence – a harmony that allowed her to cement a style framework she feels empowered by.
“I think my style has grown in the same way my confidence has. Finding my voice has empowered me to try new looks and be more daring. Which is why I admire the Versace woman so much – she’s unstoppable, sleek, sexy and empowered. My style is ever evolving though; I definitely go through phases. Right now, I’m down to pull out all the looks!”
VERSACE bodysuit and shoes; FALKE socks (worn throughout).
Left: VERSACE jacket, bra, skirt, shoes and hairpiece. Right: VERSACE jacket, shoes, bag and hairpiece.
VERSACE dress and ring.
VERSACE bodysuit, skirt and shoes.
Transitioning out of the dance world, Ziegler found her footing in acting, challenging herself in emotionally testing performances like The Fallout and thriving in Steven Spielberg’s rendition of West Side Story. In her first leading role, starring in Molly McGlynn’s upcoming coming-of-age ‘traumedy’ Bloody Hell, Ziegler hasn’t been afraid to get personal.
“It was an experience of a lifetime filming Bloody Hell. Molly who wrote and directed the movie is so beyond special. She trusted me to take on a story that is so personal to her and for that, I’m forever grateful.”
“It’s my first leading role and it shows a lot of different sides of me in the performance. It’s also an extremely important opportunity to be able to have a conversation about Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, and I can’t wait for more people to learn more about it.”
Left: VERSACE dress. Right: VERSACE bra, skirt and hairpiece.
While it’s easy to get caught up in Ziegler’s endless projects, what I really want to know is what brings the multi-hyphenate joy. A smile settles in when she tells me that she, and her Australian musician boyfriend, Eddie Benjamin, have been binging Drag Race – the only appropriate answer for our Euphoric issue.
“The show is such a source of creative inspiration for me. I’ve seen every season but binging it now with my boyfriend, I continue to be floored every time. Fashion wise, confidence wise, the humour! Everything. we just rewatched Symone’s season, and those looks are to die for! She’s so refined and seasoned but so relatable and charismatic.”
We talk about what she’s listening to, and Ziegler immediately professes that the dancer in her wishes that artist YEBBA’s music was around when she was younger and performing solos. “She has the yummiest voice and brings such a calmness to me.” Finishing off with a round of quick-fire questions, there’s an overwhelming sense that anything is possible with Ziegler. We recommend sticking around for what’s to come.
A desert island, you can take three books … The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & the Six and Carrie Soto Is Back – all Taylor Jenkins Reid books! For karaoke, we’ll find you singing … You will never catch me singing, ha! Your secret talent is … I’m great at giving massages. Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise. The last time I truly laughed was … Anytime I’m with Eddie. 2023 looks … Busy! And filled with lots of work on self-love.
VERSACE jacket, bra, skirt, shoes, bag and hairpiece.
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Cover Image: Left: VERSACE bra, skirt and hairpiece. Right: VERSACE dress and ring.
PHOTOGRAPHY Thom Kerr
FASHION Heather Picchiottino
TALENT Maddie Ziegler
HAIR Clayton Hawkins using Living Proof
MAKEUP Tonya Brewer using Lashify
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT Ryan Kevin
STYLIST’S ASSISTANT Lucy Sylvester
PRODUCTION Luke O’Sullivan
LOCATION Odyssey 21