Over the weekend, a tweet concerning actress Alexa Demie kickstarted a firestorm of accusations that Demie, maybe 25, maybe 30, was lying about her real age. More concerning than the accusations themselves, or the memes they generated, is the swiftness with which the internet devoted most of its collective free time to picking apart the life and times of someone who, until very recently, wasn’t that famous at all.
If you’ve heard of Alexa Demie, it’s because of the show Euphoria, which a bunch of zoomers and Millenials binged (and then copied makeup from). While its primary stars, Hunter Schafer and Zendaya, have enjoyed plenty of success as a result of the HBO drama—Zendaya just picked up an Emmy for her performance in the show—it also kickstarted the careers of various ensemble characters, Alexa Demie being one of them.
So why is her age trending?
Well, on September 19, Twitter user @fuckethn posted the following photoset, which shows Demie posed with various celebrities: the Kardashians, Sky Ferreira, Grimes, and Azealia Banks respectively. The caption read: “She has lived a thousand lives.”
Before I delve too deep into this deeply contrived “controversy,” I’d like to note that Azealia Banks is 29, Grimes is 32, and Sky Ferreira is 28. Unless I’ve fallen into a black hole and woken up in an alternate universe where a massive time dilation has fucked with the Roman calendar, it’s perfectly conceivable that one person could hang out with all of these people. Especially someone like Demie, who grew up in Los Angeles.
Back to her age: While seemingly innocuous, the above tweet exists as part of a larger thread of speculation concerning Demie’s purported age, which began back during the initial Euphoria craze. Back in 2019, similar tweets surfaced when outlets reported that Demie, who plays Maddy Perez on Euphoria, was 24. The age was also cited in interviews with Demie herself. Vulture, in September 2019, described Demie as being the 24-year-old “smizing scene stealer on Euphoria.” An InStyle interview from that same year also claimed Demie was “almost 25,” something she didn’t contest to the interviewer. Not to put too fine a point on this—countless other interviews during the Euphoria press tour also cite 24 as being Demie’s age.
Part of the fervor surrounding the tweet was a re-surfaced alumni list from John Marshall High School’s graduating class of 2008, which had Alexa Demie’s name on it. It would mean, by most estimates, that she is either 30, or very close to it.
If this all sounds incredibly stupid, and increasingly ageist—it’s because it is. While the majority of people participating in the craze are probably Euphoria’s younger fans, it’s preposterous to think there is any real difference between someone being 25 and someone being almost 30. It also pushes a nonsensical fantasy that women turn into dust the second they’re no longer a 20-something.
Truly, I don’t care if Demie lied about her age. I could conceive of a few possible reasons: She’s been typecast as a perma-teenager, and Hollywood is also still backward enough to have agents and casting directors who believe there are no roles for Mexican-American actresses over the age of 30. But even more preposterous than all the zoomer handwringing over a possible 30-year-old is the fact that, until this weekend, Demie was not very famous.
This is not to say she is not a good actress, or that she has not done excellent work. She has incredible fashion sense, and her role Euphoria is what many would call a “breakout”—not to mention she has appeared in numerous lauded films, like Mid90s and Waves. What I mean is that until this weekend, Alexa Demie was just another actress, without any projects to promote, suddenly thrust into an overblown age controversy. One, I might add, where the window of her supposed “lie” is three to four years at best.
There is a version of this story where Alexa Demie fueled these rumors to get the internet talking about her. This is not that story. Instead, I’m begging everyone to please, please get a hobby.
(Updated 3/2/22 with new details)