Iris Apatow Gets Grilled by Her Sister Maude
While most of us were spending the early days of lockdown perfecting our sourdough, Iris Apatow was hanging out at a posh British estate with some of the funniest people on the planet. The 19-year-old actor is part of the sprawling ensemble in The Bubble, her dad Judd’s latest comedy (currently streaming on Netflix) about a film production trying to make a Jurassic Park-style blockbuster during the pandemic. Apatow, who stars alongside Fred Armisen, Keegan-Michael Key, and her mom Leslie Mann, plays a TikTok influencer with 100 million followers (Iris boasts a paltry 512.4K by comparison), which meant that she had to learn some elaborate dance routines from the great choreographer Ryan Heffington. To talk about that process, her style inspiration, and her latest watching habits, Apatow got on the phone to field questions from someone who already knows her pretty well.
MAUDE APATOW: Hey!
IRIS APATOW: Hey Maude! [Both laugh]
MAUDE: This is so weird! We were just on the phone before this.
IRIS: You have experience in this from when you were younger. You used to do interviews, just act like I’m Rebel Wilson or something.
MAUDE: I haven’t done an interview since 2015 probably, so I’m just a little rusty! But I just realized that you can do an amazing impression of Elizabeth Holmes.
IRIS: Why would you bring that up here!
MAUDE: I just had to say, it’s so amazing.
IRIS: It is true, I can do a pretty stellar Elizabeth Holmes.
MAUDE: Speaking of The Dropout, what’d you watch last night?
IRIS: I watched No Exit, which is a new Hulu horror movie and it’s really good. It’s with Maude’s friend Danny.
MAUDE: Danny Ramirez! One of my closest friends. How do you usually watch TV?
IRIS: Quit laughing Maude! I usually watch in either the living room of the apartment where I live or on my computer in bed, but I usually watch everything on Netflix and Hulu.
MAUDE: Okay, who is your style inspo?
IRIS: [Laughs] Shit! I really love Bella Hadid’s style and also Lily Rose-Depp, but probably my biggest style icon–which may sound weird ‘cause we have the same name–is Iris Law. She’s really inspired all of my outfits that I look for online and I just think she’s so cool and beautiful.
MAUDE: She is so beautiful and cool, I totally get that. Here’s another question. What do you do when no one’s watching? I give you permission not to answer.
IRIS: I sometimes play music in my room and dance really hard, because that’s what they do on Grey’s Anatomy when they’re sad. But I feel like that question sounds kind of creepy. I mean, I just do laundry and organize my closet.
MAUDE: I respect that! What movie or movies do you know by heart?
IRIS: Well I obviously know all of the Twilight movies by heart, but actually Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part One, I can recite that entire movie.
MAUDE: Is that your favorite of the Twilight franchise?
IRIS: I don’t know why that one was the biggest deal for me, so I guess I have an attachment to it. But that and New Moon are my favorite, which I know you don’t agree with.
MAUDE: I feel like Breaking Dawn: Part One is so scary, because Bella’s sick.
IRIS: ‘Cause that baby is ripped out of her and she breaks her back, that’s disturbing.
MAUDE: It’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen.
IRIS: I didn’t watch that scene where she gives birth up until like two years ago because it really, really freaked me out. I don’t like hearing her bones crunch and stuff.
MAUDE: What show do you watch the most?
IRIS: Right now, I watch Desperate Housewives the most, because there’s so much of it. But I also watch a lot of TV, so I’d say Desperate Housewives replaces Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, because that’s my favorite show ever.
MAUDE: Have you watched Real Housewives of Salt Lake City?
IRIS: No I haven’t, but I know I need to watch it, because I know it’s really crazy. I met a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills last night which was kind of the greatest night of my life. Crystal…
MAUDE: I don’t watch it so I don’t know.
IRIS: She told me I need to watch New York next, she thinks that’s the best one.
MAUDE: That’s everyone’s favorite!
IRIS: I guess I wanted to finish Real Housewives of Beverly Hills before I go on to anything else.
MAUDE: Would you say Bravo is your guilty pleasure channel?
IRIS: Yeah, definitely, or TLC.
MAUDE: Iris and I both share a love for TLC.
IRIS: TLC is like my childhood.
MAUDE: Do you think that’s because I was always watching it?
IRIS: Well I did not have a brain up until I was like 14, so…
MAUDE: Did I force you to watch TLC with me?!
IRIS: Yeah! I only watched Spongebob, so it was always that or whatever everybody else watched. Spongebob and Austin Powers, which is the creepiest thing to watch in your formative years.
MAUDE: I think it gave you a great sense of humor.
IRIS: I think it messed me up a little bit.
MAUDE: Maybe we’ll cut that part out of the interview.
IRIS: It didn’t mess me up, it just probably made me a little weird.
MAUDE: When was the last time you lied?
IRIS: Heavily? Probably to mom before my senior year prom, that’s my heaviest lie—my tattoo. I said that when I was in New York I burnt my arm on a flat iron, but really I was just hiding my tattoo. I didn’t wanna wear a bandaid in my prom pictures, so I told her right before.
MAUDE: That was an insane move, you cornered her. She had no choice, because everyone was at our house for pictures.
IRIS: But it was good timing! She couldn’t get that mad at me because people were over.
MAUDE: I still can’t believe you did that.
IRIS: Well you should actually be flattered because it’s for you.
MAUDE: I know, and I have such complicated feelings about it.
IRIS: [Laughs] I can tell because you didn’t get one for me, which I’m still hurt about.
MAUDE: You should’ve said the M was for Mom.
IRIS: I think I did say that at some point to ease it up.
MAUDE: The next thing I was going to ask you was, what was the last thing you got in trouble for, but do I wanna know?
IRIS: Maude, you act like I’m doing such terrible things. I probably got in trouble for getting another tattoo.
MAUDE: Also I got mad at you the other day for not feeding the cats, but I guess you weren’t in trouble, I was just annoyed. Now I’m going to ask you about The Bubble. Can you explain what it’s about?
IRIS: The Bubble follows this group of actors who are a part of this Jurassic Park-esque franchise. They all get sent to London during heavy lockdown and are supposed to shoot a movie. It shows how everything that can go wrong, goes wrong, and their behavior is horrible. They’re literally living in a castle, but they’re still managing to complain about everything that happens to them.
MAUDE: Do you think it’s weird being in an actual bubble shooting The Bubble?
IRIS: It wasn’t weird, I kind of was already in–
MAUDE: You were already in the headspace.
IRIS: Right. It was an interesting experience, but it was so nice to have all the cast members, we all got along so well.
MAUDE: Who were you most nervous to work with in the cast?
IRIS: I was kind of scared of everyone, but the scariest to work with was Fred [Armisen], because he’s so funny.
MAUDE: Fred is the funniest person on earth. You’re really close with Maria Bakalova, right? She’s so amazing in Borat and she’s such an incredible improviser. What was it like working with her?
IRIS: I love Maria, because she felt like a big sister-type on set. She was very protective, and she always seemed very nervous, but then would just kill it.
MAUDE: I would not expect that! You see Borat and you’re like, “She must be fearless.”
IRIS: Most of the people there are pros, so I think she was just nervous like everyone else. I know she had to work so hard on the Oscar campaign for Borat during the shoot, but she was just so kind and such a good friend. When I got into college, we went on a walk to get coffee as a celebration.
MAUDE: What was it like as an older person to work with mom and dad? Before this, the last time either of us worked with them was when we were so young, I can barely even remember what it was like.
IRIS: Working with them as an 18-year-old, I felt the weight and the expectations to really do my part and work hard, because I was in such a privileged situation. I wasn’t six anymore, I couldn’t laugh around and not memorize my lines. That’s what made it amazing, because we all worked together and very hard as a family. I had dad every day with me on set, but when mom would come in, it was so nice. Everyone kind of wants their mom at work sometimes! So I was in a situation where I could have the comfort of my mom, and it was really nice to eat lunch with her and stuff. It’s definitely something I’m very lucky to have in my life, memories of working with my family throughout my life, especially at my age it’s really cool to look back on.
MAUDE: For me, too. It’s so cool to get to watch mom and dad work. I’m grateful to have that in my life. Do you ever feel like it’s more pressure because it’s mom and dad, and you want to impress them?
IRIS: Oh yeah, absolutely. And they’re not always going to be like, “You’re amazing!” Just because I’m their daughter, they’re not going to be constantly complimenting me. We’re all working together and we all have to do our part.
MAUDE: In the movie you have many choreographed dance numbers and you got to work with Ryan Huffington, who’s the most amazing choreographer. I just worked with him on Euphoria—he did the big dance number in the play in episode seven.
IRIS: He is so good. He did the iconic “Chandelier” music video. We’re both so lucky we’ve gotten to work with him in our lifetimes. How random? I met with him over Zoom before he choreographed any of the dances, he gave me a little choreography to see if I could do it, and he based the dances around what I was capable of doing.
MAUDE: Was everyone really excited to get back to work?
IRIS: Yeah! I think everybody was really excited and everybody just wanted to talk. It felt like we were all at school in the cafeteria talking.
MAUDE: Or like summer camp!
IRIS: It was the most fun summer camp you could possibly be at.
MAUDE: I definitely had a lot of FOMO, I’m not gonna lie.
IRIS: I know. Maude got two cats while we were gone.
MAUDE: My family all left and I was so sad! I was trying to fill the void.
IRIS: Wait, I have a question. Maude, did you watch The Bubble?
MAUDE: Yes, I watched one of the first cuts of it and I’m ready to watch it tomorrow in theaters!
IRIS: [Laughs] You didn’t watch it last night.
MAUDE: I was supposed to watch it last night?! I was actually just thinking about it, and I haven’t seen a super recent cut, but I did see an almost four hour cut. So I’ve seen everything that could’ve been in The Bubble.
IRIS: That’s true!
Hair by Mikey Tubolino using Amika Products
Production Assistant Tishana Burton