All About Netflix's 'Maid' , from Its Origin Story to the Star-Studded Cast (2 of Whom Are Related!)

Netflix's newly-released drama Maid stars Margaret Qualley alongside her real-life mother Andie MacDowell, among other notable names

Maid
Photo: RICARDO HUBBS/NETFLIX

You may not have thought you needed yet another Netflix show to binge, but Maid has a near-perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a compelling true-life story based on a memoir and a cast you've definitely seen before. Read on to find out why so many people are adding Maid to their queue.

Maid (produced by Warner Bros. Television) stars Margaret Qualley as Alex Russell, the single mother determined to leave an emotionally abusive relationship, no matter how challenging it may be to go it alone with her young daughter. Her mother is played onscreen by her real-life mom, actress Andie MacDowell, adding another layer of depth to their complicated onscreen relationship.

MacDowell raved on Instagram about the experience of acting with Qualley. "Working alongside my daughter @margaretqualley was an extraordinary honor, and an experience I will cherish forever," she wrote, adding in another, "Thank you to my daughter Margaret for giving me this space and opportunity as a scene partner."

Their performance together has drawn raves. Critic Inkoo Kang at the Washington Post wrote, "Qualley and MacDowell are each other's best scene partners, with the younger actor anchoring the production with emotional realism and the screen veteran arguably doing the most impressive work of her career, flitting through thoughts and moods as quickly as the pages of a book."

They are just two of the talented cast members in the drama, which premiered Oct. 1. It's told from Alex's unfiltered point of view, and dives deep into topics such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and class issues as she struggles to make enough money to get herself and her daughter out of poverty and precarious living situations.

The 10-episode show is a fictionalization of Stephanie Land's New York Times best-seller Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive. The author also serves as an executive producer, and said in an interview with Netflix, "I wrote a book so people who struggle to get by could see themselves represented in an authentic way, and they could feel less alone ... [the series] continues that legacy in ways that absolutely blow my mind."

MAID
RICARDO HUBBS/NETFLIX

Keep reading to meet the star-studded cast of Maid and find out where you've seen them in the past.

Margaret Qualley as Alex

Margaret Qualley
Andreas Rentz/Getty

Qualley plays Alex, a young, single mother whose determination to make a better life her 2-year-old daughter, Maddy, is unmatched. She does what she can to survive after fleeing her abusive husband, taking low-paying jobs as a maid and staying in shelters as she struggles to earn enough to make a home for her and Maddy.

The actress' previous credits include Death Note, The Nice Guys, The Leftovers, and Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood. She's also a trained ballerina since childhood and attended London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to pursue her acting career.

Andie MacDowell as Paula

Andie MacDowell
Dominique Charriau/WireImage

MacDowell, 63, is not only Qualley's mother in real-life, but plays Alex's mother, Paula, on-screen as well. Though Paula cares about her daughter, she suffers from rapid mood swings (which Alex believes is undiagnosed bipolar disorder) that make her unreliable.

Paula is invested in her art and in a relationship with a man, Basil, who demonstrates hostile behavior towards Alex.

The actress has worked for decades in such iconic films as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sex, Lies & Videotape, Groundhog Day, Green Card, and Multiplicity. Prior to her work as an actress, she got her start as a model in the 1970s, and is still a L'Oréal spokeswoman.

Nick Robinson as Sean

Nick Robinson
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Robinson plays Alex's abusive ex-boyfriend, who was sweet and romantic at the beginning but has become a violent alcoholic from whom she runs away with their daughter. As a result, Sean attempts to sue her for custody of Maddy. Though he makes Alex's life hell, the show explores the difficult path of substance abuse and other unresolved issues he faces.

Robinson is widely known for playing the lead role in Love, Simon and also stared in Jurassic World.

Anika Noni Rose as Regina

Anika Noni Rose
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Rose plays Regina, Alex's first client when she becomes a maid. Regina's snooty, hard-to-please persona makes it challenging for anyone to meet her demands, but she warms to Alex and counsels her on some of her biggest challenges.

Rose previously voiced the leading role of Tiana in Disney's The Princess and the Frog. The actress and singer also held various on-screen roles in films and TV shows such as Jingle Jangle, Dreamgirls and For Colored Girls, and The Good Wife. In addition, she's a Tony Award winner for her role in the Broadway show Caroline, or Change.

Billy Burke as Hank

Billy Burke
JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty

Burke is cast as Alex's distant father Hank. Alex doesn't expect much of him, especially since he left her and her mother to start a new life and family of his own.

The actor is best known for playing another fatherly role: Charle Swan, Bella's dad in the Twilight franchise. His other acting credits include Along Came A Spider, Revolution, My Boys, Rizzoli & Isles, and Major Crimes.

Raymond Ablack as Nate

Raymond Ablack
GP Images/Getty

Ablack plays Nate, an old friend that who returns to Alex's life during moments of need to help bail her out. However, he had a romantic interest in her previously, which tests their relationship as she tries to get back on her feet.

The Canadian is no stranger to this type of "nice guy" role. Netflix fans may recognize him from Ginny & Georgia, where he played Joe, the owner of Blue Farm Cafe. Other notable works he's appeared include Orphan Black, Teenagers, Narcos, and Nurses. He also had a recurring role in the teen drama franchise Degrassi as Sav Bhandari.

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