Lexi Underwood Is Exactly Where She Wants To Be
As a double Virgo, she’s making sure her Hollywood career goes according to plan.
In Elite Daily's series At The Moment, celebs dish on their current projects, pop culture hot takes, and everything taking over their group chats. In this piece, we chat with Lexi Underwood about her current roles in Sneakerella and The First Lady, what’s next for her, and what inspires her right now.
Lexi Underwood has always known she belongs in the entertainment world. Since starring in Broadway’s The Lion King at age 10, Underwood has used her sense of purpose to fuel her career. And it’s paying off — at just 18, she’s currently in two buzzy projects, with several more on the way.
In Showtime’s The First Lady, Underwood made her mark as the first actor to portray former First Daughter Malia Obama on screen, a milestone she doesn’t take lightly. “When I found out I booked it, it was just, like, tears,” Underwood tells Elite Daily. “I was running, screaming, crying, jumping up and down. I’m sure my neighbors were sick of me. It was a very joyous moment.”
For the series, which runs through June 19, Underwood worked alongside legendary actor Viola Davis, who plays Michelle Obama. “I think the biggest takeaway from working with Viola [was] how to be comfortable with taking up space and saying no, or saying yes, or just saying what you need,” Underwood says. “Oftentimes I think as women, especially women of color, it’s very easy for us to feel intimidated, to feel as though we don’t have a voice or a seat at the table. But she made it such a comfortable space where we were able to be open and free and just create and tell the story of our characters in the best way that we know how to do it.”
Then there’s Sneakerella. The movie, which Disney+ released on May 13, is a gender-bent modern retelling of Cinderella in which Underwood stars as a princess for a new generation. “I feel the princess, she ultimately writes her own story,” Underwood says. “She is level-headed. She is strong. She is a boss in every sense of the word. That’s very inspiring to me because that is the exact kind of imagery that I wish I had growing up.”
Both roles demonstrate the kind of representation for women of color that Underwood is looking to promote throughout her career, reminding her why she got into this business and how she wants to forge ahead in it. “For us as artists, what we do is a contact sport, so whatever art we create, we ultimately want it to have a positive impact on our audience,” she says.
And speaking of forging ahead, Underwood is definitely doing that. Freeform recently announced she will star in Cruel Summer Season 2, a continuation of the teen mystery series that swept the internet in 2021. Beyond that, she has big plans for her production company, Ultimate Dreamer Productions, which she started when she was 15.
“I want to create diverse stories,” Underwood says. “I want to create impactful stories. I think it’s important for us to tell our own stories. We can no longer just continue to sit back and allow other people to tell our stories.”
Below, Underwood answers some rapid-fire questions about what’s going on in her life at the moment.
This segment has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What’s your sign?
I’m a Virgo sun, Virgo moon, and Aries rising.
All-time favorite Disney movie?
The Lion King.
If you could have dinner with any celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be?
Aaliyah, Michelle Obama, or Eartha Kitt.
The last TV show you watched in one sitting?
The Ultimatum, because it was incredibly messy and it was so fun to get to watch people who are in their 20s push for marriage when there’s so much time. There’s so much more time.
What song are you playing on repeat?
“As It Was” by Harry Styles. I just simply cannot get over Harry Styles.
One thing you need in the morning to start your day?
Tea with caffeine in it.
Favorite Gen Z slang word?
Crying emoji, because I use that as a laughing emoji.
Go-to summertime snack?
Pineapple. Or pomegranate seeds.
What’s inspiring you right now?
My generation. The perseverance, the strength, determination. I’m constantly in awe of my peers and the people around me.