Alexandra Daddario has a message for you. “Go look at the moon!” For Daddario, the moon is a companion. She likens gazing at the night sky to smelling the roses. When life seems chaotic, specifically in showbiz, the moon is a constant reminder that we are but a tiny piece of a much bigger story.
“I think that those moments where I’ve been laying on the ground, looking at the stars, looking at the moon, you get lost in how small you are, obviously, but it really grounds you,” the 37-year-old says. She’s taking her call with FLAUNT from the car while visiting the Ohio-based family of her film producer husband, Andrew Form. It’s an environment rather disparate to her Los Angeles home. Daddario reflects on a recent exploration of Southern California’s deserts with her friends. They ran their hands through the earth’s sand and laid their heads upon its grains, capturing it all on Polaroid cameras. “Joshua Tree is a really magical place to look at the moon and the stars,” Daddario says. “It’s a really spiritual place. I think that it grounds you and brings you into the present moment and makes you sort of stop and look at how beautiful the world is. And—I don’t know if everyone feels this way—but I do think that sometimes we have a tendency to always be looking towards the next thing and not living presently.”
Daydreaming about the future, or consistently anticipating the next chapter of your life is inevitable, especially if you’re a young actor waiting for a big break. The start of Daddario’s professional journey had its peaks and valleys. Growing up, she felt pressure—applied by her family, environment, and self—to attend college and pursue a more traditional career. “Growing up,” she shares, “I was not an emotional kid, but I really sort of felt things. I don’t want to say I grew up in a rigid environment, but there was a lot of pressure on me to go to an Ivy League school and to get great grades and score really high on my SATs.” At age 11, she enrolled in an acting class with a schoolmate. The class gave her the opportunity to tap into her emotional side that was waiting to be nurtured. “It felt like in acting class, you got to really feel. They wanted you to cry, they wanted you to get angry, and they wanted you to express yourself. You were taught to flex those muscles. And I felt like it was this very true way of being, whereas in life and in the environment I was in, I was really taught to be very diligent and non-emotional.” Daddario and her classmates learned a technique called sense memory. Each of the students stood in front of the class and had to recount an emotional memory that would make them cry. “I remember it was so hard for me to do,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to cry in front of all these people. How embarrassing! And I didn’t want to divulge one of my saddest moments. That’s so personal.” While she was trying to brainstorm a moment that wasn’t too sad or personal, another classmate stood up and confessed to accidentally drowning her hamster while attempting to teach it how to swim in her bathtub. All the elementary-aged kids started weeping over the death of a furry friend. “It was such a real moment,” Daddario recounts.
The vulnerability of her peers resonated with her. “You see the difference when you can make someone feel something,” she shares. “I love the idea of all the work I had to put into finally being able to express myself, where you can have that freedom. I can tell people my sad moments, and I can express myself emotionally in front of people.”
On the horizon for Daddario is the second season of the horror series Mayfair Witches. She plays the lead role as an intuitive young neurosurgeon who unexpectedly discovers she is the heir to a family of witches. She is also set to star alongside Cole Sprouse in the film I Wish You All the Best, a coming-of-age story about a non-binary teen who moves in with their estranged sister after being kicked out of their home.
Daddario has been praised for the life she gives her characters. Whether navigating the complexities of a drama or bringing charm to a lighthearted comedy, she delivers depth and sincerity. Maybe it’s her years of experience or the lasting impression of that defenseless hamster that strengthens her authenticity. Either way, transforming into a character is therapeutic for Daddario. “It’s almost a meditation,” she explains. “When you do a great scene, you get lost. It’s this really sort of magical experience. I just love that feeling. I think a lot about what acting is about—you’re not even thinking, you’re just feeling. And I think that’s a really beautiful thing, especially in a world where [we often] don’t even realize how not present we are.”
For years, Daddario says she was hesitant to tell people about her Hollywood dreams. “There were so many years where I was embarrassed to tell people that I was an actress because they’d be like, ‘Oh, yeah. Like, what are you in?’ I always felt judged because people thought, ‘What are you really doing?’ At 16, she got her first break on the soap opera All My Children. The dramatic TV series gave her an escape from the confines of traditional schooling and allowed her to take classes on set. From this project onward, she knew acting was the only path for her. “I just couldn’t imagine not doing it.”
She applied, as her family wished, and was rejected by a college acting program. Those admission officers are currently putting their feet in their mouths. After, she tried communications. “I was thinking about things in this weirdly practical way,” she says. She realized that earning a college degree in a field in which she had no interest was a waste of time and money. While awaiting her next gig, she instead began working as a bartender in New York City, where she was born and raised. “I worked in a bar for a while, and there were so many times that I was really in debt or broke. And I always was, like, well, all I have to do is book one job, and I can pay off my debt. I’ll just take that one job that pays me enough. And that’s a dangerous way of thinking because you got more and more in debt, thinking that somehow a miracle is going to happen, and you’re going to get out. And luckily for me, a miracle did happen.”
That miracle was the 2010 film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, opposite Logan Lerman. She moved to Los Angeles. Since then, Daddario has starred in numerous projects. She credits her roles in True Detective (2014) with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and Baywatch (2017), swimming next to Zac Efron, for her amassing notoriety.
In 2021, Daddario starred alongside a star-studded cast in the first season of HBO’s White Lotus from writer and director Mike White. Daddario played Rachel Patton, a young journalist struggling to find her role in the world after marrying a man from a wealthy family, subsequently and unwillingly becoming somewhat of his trophy wife. The part landed Daddario her first Emmy nomination.
She took to the red carpet in an asymmetrical nude beaded gown by Dior. “The Dior dress that I wore to the Emmys was so stunningly gorgeous,” she remembers. It was that kind of dress that you dream of wearing as a kid when you’re older. It had all this beading in it. And it was just stunning. So I felt very lucky to get up on stage and be wearing it. It was like a fairy tale.”
Dior announced that Daddario was their ambassador for women’s fashion and the La Collection Privée Fragrance in April 2023. Going from bartending in NYC, living paycheck to paycheck, to collaborating with the fashion house, was like a dream come true. “Every time I put on a Dior dress, I wanted to wear it on the red carpet,” Daddario says. “I never dreamed that I would still be doing this and also be a sophisticated woman who wears Dior. You sort of feel like the best version of yourself. And I think that’s what fashion does and what clothes do. It’s an expression of yourself. And it just feels very me, and it feels very, very special. And wearing a Dior dress is a very special thing.” She compares putting on a beautiful gown to falling in love, though a little less thrilling.
The actor also joined the ambassador family for Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer in 2023. Aligned with the brand’s sporty ethos, Daddario relates her adventurous spirit and love for traveling to the brand. She reflects on the influence of social media and how it has reshaped the dynamics of how brands and entertainers interact. This digital landscape, she explains, has not only catalyzed her professional growth and allowed her to partner with brands like Dior and TAG Heuer, but has also become a powerful platform for philanthropic contributions. The actor collaborates with nonprofits such as Feeding America, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, and On Our Sleeves. By using her online presence, she has been able to direct awareness and engage her young fans in charitable work. “I wanted to make a difference,” she concludes.
As for what’s ahead, when not busy honoring her brand commitments, advancing social action, or living out her hard-earned dream of being an actress, Daddario shares she’ll be enjoying the odd late night, indulging in a glass of wine, writing, and convincing her friends to take-in the glowing moon.
Photographed by Adam Franzino
Styled by Katie Mossman
Written by Audra McClain
Flaunt Film: Isaac Dektor
Cinematographer: Timothy Shin
Film Colorist: Jacob Barajas-Santos
1st Assistant: Josh DeAngelis
Tech: Amanda Yanez