Recognise this face? Why Madeleine Madden is about to be all over your TV screen

Netflix's new queen.

By Susannah Guthrie
madeleine madden

Madeleine Madden is chatting to COSMOPOLITAN from her fancy Gold Coast apartment, where she's staying while she films the upcoming live-action Dora the Explorer movie. And she's pretty damn chuffed about it.

"This is a pinch-me moment. This apartment is ridiculous. It's on the Gold Coast looking out over the beach," the 21-year-old actress, who you might recognise from Foxtel's Picnic at Hanging Rock, explains.

On top of her lead role in Dora the Explorer, Maddy is in two Netflix series this year, Tidelands alongside Elsa Pataky and political thriller Pine Gap. It would be a big achievement for any young actress, but it feels especially major for Maddy given her Indigenous background.

"I am really proud of myself for what I have done," Maddy admits.

"Now that I'm sitting back and thinking about getting this Paramount gig and being in two Netflix shows this year, for me as an Indigenous woman I feel so proud because the struggle is real."

Maddy, who's hitting her stride at the same time as the Indigenous Department at Screen Australia celebrates its 25th anniversary, says filming for Netflix was a surreal experience she's still not quite over.

"Netflix has so much power. It brings so much content into Australia and more characters and stories and diversity. Working on Tidelands was amazing because it was my first taste of being on a set where there was a lot of hype, they just know what they're doing."

It also meant exposure to Elsa Pataky, Spanish mega star and the gorgeous wife of Chris Hemsworth.

"I had such a girl crush on her before we started filming. And I'd just walk into the makeup bus and be like 'Okay cool, that's you with no makeup. Wow,'" Maddy laughs.

"She's stunning on the outside but she's really wonderful. She's got a lot of time for everyone, loves nature and seems like a family-driven woman."

While Maddy is currently based in Sydney, she says she's definitely felt the "pull" of Hollywood.

"I've been working consistently for the past couple of years and I've been lucky in that LA has sort of come to me," she explains.

One very Hollywood element she's excited for is the prospect of more red carpets and, thus, more opportunities for killer fashion moments.

"I love Aussie brands like Ellery. I'm a fan of a power suit, and they nail it," she says.

In addition to her on-screen talent, Maddy is an eloquent advocate for representation on screen, a seriously chic red carpet regular and a bona fide babe.

"I grew up idolising Audrey Hepburn," Maddy said of her career goals. "And another massive queen I adore is Thandie Newton."

We'd say Maddy is well on her way to eclipsing both of them.