Maddie Hasson Is Growing Up

The teen actress steps into the spotlight for her first adult role as Billie Jean Jones in “I Saw the Light.”

Maddie Hasson
Photographer: Matthias Vriens-McGrath Stylist: Elizabeth Stewart

For Maddie Hasson, the biggest challenge in portraying the singer Billie Jean Jones in the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light (in theaters now) was not depicting a living person but, rather, acting opposite the young girl who plays her daughter. “I only had one scene with her,” says the Wilmington, North Carolina, native. “But around children, I’m like, Is she judging me?”

Doubtful. Hasson, 20, holds her own as the second wife of the country star (played by Tom Hiddleston), maintaining her poise as her husband’s drug and alcohol abuse leads to his demise, from heart failure, at 29. “She is a spitfire,” says the actress. “I love that in my women.”

It’s one of the first times that Hasson, who began acting professionally at 16 and was most recently a lead on the ABC Family series Twisted, has been cast as an adult. And, unlike many ingenues in her youth-obsessed industry, she’s looking forward to a time when she will have outgrown those fresh-faced parts. Meanwhile, she will appear as a high-school outcast in the dark indie Good After Bad and as a young nun in the 1960s-era drama Novitiate (both out next year). “I want to age. I want to get wrinkles. I want to get saggy,” Hasson insists. Amen to that, sister.

Hair by Chris McMillan for Living Proof at soloartists.com (HILL) and Peter Savic at Opus Beauty (HASSON and Halsey); Makeup by Nathan Hejl for Tom Ford; Digital Technician: Casey Cunneen; photography assistant: Jay Mims; fashion assistant: Katie Bofshever.