The Young Star of Netflix’s Maid is Vegan. What She Ate on Set
Netflix's popular series Maid stars Andi McDowell's daughter, Margaret Qualley as Alex, a young woman trying to escape an abusive relationship. She ventures out in the night with nothing but her young daughter and a half tank of gas to start an independent life and find work, which is how she becomes a maid. The younger character, Maddy, is played by 5-year-old Rylea Nevaeh Whittet, who turns out to be vegan in real life.
While on the set the specific dietary requirements of the streaming network's smallest star became part of what bonded the cast and crew as they filmed the series on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
"Rylea loved pretending to eat Mcdonald's french fries and all the other fun foods that were made for her by the props team on the set of MAID," her parents said. (Of course, the McPlant is coming but it's more fun when the prop folks make fake fast food.)
Scenes show Maddy getting fed pancakes, sandwiches, and other mainstays from the Standard American Diet, which had to be significantly tailored to allow the actress to take a bite of her breakfast or lunch on camera. There's even a scene of her at her birthday party, pretending to eat her cupcakes.
Five-Year-Old Rylea Nevaeh Whittet Eats a Vegan Diet
Margaret, 26, spent her free time hanging out with Rylea and her parents in Vancouver between takes and learned what she didn't know about cooking plant-based or vegan for a young co-star. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Margaret said that while spending off-camera they did normal things like taking Rylea to the grocery store, coloring with crayons, and trying to for Margaret, trying to learn how to cook with plant-based ingredients.
Margaret revealed she cooked vegan pancakes for the young actress whose parents feed her a vegan diet. "They tasted bad because I’d never cooked vegan pancakes before,” she confessed. In an interview with Collider, Margaret says about her young vegan co-star. "I basically just became her [Ryelea's] person on set. I’d carry her around and have crayons and snacks. She’s vegan, so I’d have all kinds of healthy things."
Rylea's Instagram account (which her parents manage) includes the 🌱 emoji sign universally recognized as a symbol for vegan. It also includes some of her favorite emojis – a ladybug and cat 🐞🐈. Rylea loves posing for pictures with her "ginger cat" Teddy and is an avid animal lover.
For more information on how to raise healthy kids like Rylea on a vegan diet read Food Diary of a Plant-Based Six-Year-Old and Plant-Based Parenting: How to Raise a Vegan Athlete and Ignore the Naysayers.