An Ingénue of the Highest Order:
Being Madeleine Coghlan – By Stacey Gualandi
The No. 1 rule in improvisation is “don’t negate”: Whatever is thrown at you, just accept it and keep going. And that’s just what up-and-coming actress Madeleine Coghlan is doing, both personally and professionally. “I’m such a perfectionist! I like everything planned out and I like knowing what’s going to happen, and in improv, you can’t have any of that,” says the 20-year-old Groundlings student performer. “It goes so against my nature completely.” But opting out of college for a career in Hollywood—where one has very little control—is paying off for her quickly. She has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. “I was doing jenky bar improv just a year ago, and asking the crowd, ‘Is everyone awake?’” says Coghlan. But cut to now: Coghlan just starred as a psychotic killer (yes…killer!) in the horror anthology film, “Holidays”; she graced the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival; played a featured role on the (former…sniff) ABC network show, “Castle”; and signed a variety show deal with Radio Disney. Brava! This quick starter—who has enjoyed vegan cooking since her early teens—says being more open to new ideas is freeing... although she does say “no” every once in a while. (“Driving recently, my Dad and I were deciding what music to listen to. He said, ‘Selena Gomez,’ and I said nope!”) But the best advice she’s received since starting her career comes directly from her parents. “They said ‘worry about yourself. Don’t focus on what everyone else is doing.’” Now, Coghlan says she’ll keep taking more chances by saying yes...even if she thinks it may not be perfect.
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