Let's Try Not to Be Jealous of 14-Year-Old Maude Apatow

Illustration for article titled Let's Try Not to Be Jealous of 14-Year-Old Maude Apatow

It's difficult — nay, impossible, even — for anyone to come off well in a New York Times Style section profile, especially if said person is a precocious teenager with A-list celebrity parents. So sure, Maude Apatow was born with a gold-plated, diamond-studded silver spoon in her mouth, and the Times got her to call herself a "spirit animal" to her 62,000+ Twitter followers over coconut milk smoothies at a "trendy vegan restaurant" within the first three sentences of her Times profile, but she still seems way wiser than any of us were at fourteen. Plus, it's really not a good look to be jealous of a kid who's starting high school next month.


You may remember Maude — yes, the daughter of Judd and Leslie Mann — from Knocked Up, during which she and her little sister "Googled murder" as Mann's character's kids with Paul Rudd. (She spent this summer filming This Is 40, the sequel.) But Maude's talents really shine on Twitter. Less-than-140-character quips like "It was really uncomfortable when I watched Beaches with my best friend and she didn't cry," "Are black bands on your braces gross?" and "I think I might get into a fistfight at this bar mitzvah" have made her into a rising Twitter comedian à la Megan Amram and a role model — sorry, "spirit animal" — to teenage girls who perhaps are a little less hip than Tavi Gevinson but still identify with a super famous, photogenic teenager who once described herself on HelloGiggles as "the awkward, slightly O.C.D., preppy, motherly, nerd who knew barely anything about being a ‘regular teen.' "

Maude might be a promising actor and Twitter comedian, but she also seems to have a future in social networking. Her fans include Judy Blume, who said she "had the same adolescent angst as Maude"; Lena Dunham, who attended a Taylor Swift concert with her and describes her tweets as "earnest yet highly sophisticated, childlike yet totally aware and wry"; and One Direction's Harry Styles, kind of — he once tweeted Maude a happy birthday thanks to her uncle, who knew Styles through his job as a producer on Fox's "The X Factor."

The 14-year-old says she's more nervous about starting ninth grade than becoming famous, but maybe that's because it's safe to say she has literally nothing to worry about regarding the latter, especially given that she has Apatow, who seems like an incredibly supportive dad, to help inspire her. (They bounce tweet ideas back and forth, and Maude recently tweeted, "My dad just screamed at me during the scene, ‘MAUDE! LOOK LIKE YOU'RE ENJOYING LIFE!!!'" on the This Is 40 set.) "I think she has begun to find her voice," Apatow wrote, "and I know that having people respond positively has made her want to write more. I just hope that ultimately what she writes is longer than 140 characters."

She's 14, Going on 140 Characters [New York Times]


Madeleine Davies

I love Maude Apatow for the same reasons articulated by Lena Dunham. She is funny and smart, but somehow avoids coming off as too precocious or contrived. It must be refreshing for witty teenage girls to be able to recognize themselves in someone who is so culturally successful.