Interview by Jana Letonja

Australian actress and producer Maia Mitchell most recently starred in the Star original series ‘The Artful Dodger’, which is airing on Disney+ globally and on Hulu in the US. She is best known for her roles in Freeform’s drama ‘The Fosters’ and its spinoff series ‘Good Trouble’. 

bodysuit VICTOR WANG
sunglasses GIA BORGHINI
ring LA MANSO X TETIER BIJOUX
shoes FEMME LA

Maia, you are starring in the series ‘The Artful Dodger’, set in 1850s, that follows Jack Dawkins, a former Royal Navy surgeon, who is establishing himself as a respected young doctor, being forced back into a life of crime. How was it jumping back in time, back to 1850s, through this series?

It was magical. There wasn’t a minute on that set where you weren’t reminded how special the whole experience was. The sets, costumes, hair and makeup design were so elaborate and beautiful, and it truly felt like jumping back in time.

What excites you the most about this series, both as an artist and personally?

What I love about this show is that it really throws you into a whole other world. It’s fast paced, so exciting and full of delightful characters that you instantly fall in love with. It’s a total escape from reality for the viewer, but also was for us on set. ‘The Artful Dodger’ came along at a time when I was really looking to be thrown into something big and intimidating that felt different from anything I’d been a part of. It was very creatively fulfilling.

In the series, you portray Lady Belle Fox, a strong-willed young woman who uses her position as the governor’s daughter to get what she wants and uses leverage to make Dawkins train her as a surgeon. How was it portraying Belle? What challenged you the most about her character?

Belle has a big heart with a strong sense of social justice which drives her, but she also has a degree of entitlement that can only come from massive privilege. Throughout the series we see her begin to question the ethical codes she’s always been fixed to and she begins to realize that maybe she’s not on the right side of history. Walking that line was a challenge. It was important to me that the audience empathize with Belle and that they understood that despite her flaws, her heart is in the right place and she’s willing to learn and grow.

bodysuit DION LEE
sunglasses GIA BORGHINI
boots DION LEE X ANCUTA SARCA

full look BLUMARINE
tights WOLFORD

The series was filmed in your native Australia. What is your favorite memory from filming?

This was the first Australian project I’ve worked on since I was a kid and it was the most incredible homecoming. In episode 1, there’s a scene where Jack and Belle are performing a surgery in front of our entire ensemble cast. I remember we were blocking the scene and I had all this dialogue to say, but I had to pause because I looked up at this crowded staircase full of my favorite Australian actors that I’ve always looked up to. I’ll never forget it.

Having worked on both Australian and US productions, what do you find the biggest differences between them?

I think Americans revere celebrity more than Australians do and I definitely felt that on set. It felt like the emphasis was very much about the work and there wasn’t the hierarchy that can exist on sets in the US, which made for a really fun set dynamic. It was very chill.

dress DILARA FINDIKOGLU
bra CHANTELLE LUCYL
gloves VEX CLOTHING
ring LA MANSO X TETIER BIJOUX
shoes FEMME LA

How and when did you develop passion for acting?

Growing up, I went to a theatre school in my hometown and it was my happy place. We were able to be free and weird and it definitely sparked my love of acting. I was lucky to work on sets as a kid and it was clear that this was all I wanted to do, I loved it.

Outside of acting, your interests encompass fashion, beauty, travel and culture. What is your favorite thing about fashion? What role does it play in your life?

I’m a pretty aesthetic person and I’ve always loved clothes as a way to express myself. I live on a farm in the countryside, but I travel a lot for work, so I have my country closet and my city closet. When I’m home, it’s T-shirt, jeans and blundstones, so I always look forward to my trips to the city where I can go nuts and whip out my silly little heels and purses. Fashion wise it’s a double life.

dress DIESEL 
sunglasses & shoes GIA BORGHINI

Can you share your favorite fashion and beauty tip with us?

Be confident in your personal style regardless of trends and invest in timeless pieces instead of reverting to fast fashion. Beauty tip is drink water.

You’ve not only filmed around the globe, but have also developed a personal passion for travel. Why do you think people should travel, explore the world and experience different cultures? Which has been your favorite destination you’ve visited, and why?

Traveling is such a privilege and if you have the opportunity, you have to take it. Opening your eyes to other cultures is such an opportunity for growth. I spent a few months traveling through Europe last year, which was amazing. Barcelona was definitely the highlight. When I was 17, I shot a movie in Indonesia and that was my first real culture shock. Living in Jakarta and seeing how vast the human experience can be was pretty incredible.

We hear you’ve just wrapped production on a film shooting in Montenegro and Serbia. What can you tell us about ‘Family Secrets’ and what you’re working on next?

I just wrapped ‘Family Secrets’ a couple of weeks ago in Belgrade. It’s an eat the rich revenge thriller about a destination wedding that turns to chaos. The cast is wonderful and the movie is a wild ride with lots of twists I don’t think anyone will see coming. We also filmed in some pretty incredible locations in Montenegro, so I know it will be visually stunning.

As for what’s next, I’m looking at projects, but having spent most of last year away working I’m happy to be taking some time off at home to rest and catch up on life a little bit. 

full look NAMILIA
jewelry SWAROVSKI
shoes FEMME LA

full look ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

talent MAIA MITCHELL
photographer DENNIS LEUPOLD
stylist WILLYUM BECK
makeup LOREN CANBY
hair AARON LIGHT
photography assistants SABRINA PATINO & SHO STEWART
styling assistants NATHANIEL MILLER & CASSIDY JANE HILL
digital tech KEVIN LEUPOLD
editor TIMI LETONJA
editorial director & interview JANA LETONJA
cover design ARTHUR ROELOFFZEN