Madison Davenport may still technically be a teenager, but her resume can rival even the most seasoned adult actors. From "Shameless" to "Sisters" to "From Dusk till Dawn," Davenport's genre-transcending performances prove that she's a force to be reckoned with in young Hollywood. It's the reason why the young actress was recently honored with the Vail Film Festival Rising Star Award.
Her latest starring film performance is no exception to her incredible track record. Just this past weekend, Davenport's newest feature "A Light Beneath Their Feet" premiered. The coming-of-age film follows Beth (played by Davenport) as she struggles between going to her dream school UCLA or staying close to home to take care of her bipolar mother Gloria (Taryn Manning). It's an authentic and raw portrayal of the complications that arise with this sensitive mother-daughter relationship and the unconditional love that bonds two people together, no matter what hardships they face.
The film serves as a poignant reminder for viewers to acknowledge the humanness that lies behind mental illness. And Davenport's complex performance was pivotal to creating that message. If her career continues on the path she's on now, Davenport will soon be a household name.
So before she dominates screens and red carpets everywhere, get to know Madison Davenport on a more personal level. We recently spoke with the rising star about her meteoric career, where her love of performing first began, and her most memorable moment while on set of "A Light Beneath Their feet."
And for even more Madison Davenport news, head over to AOL.com at 12 p.m. ET for more exclusive features, including the biggest thing she learned from Taryn Manning while on set.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a performer?
I did gymnastics and ballet and all the typical "girl" things growing up. But I was that kid who do stare at myself in a mirror and in gymnastics I would always take water breaks and pretend to be fainting. At one point, one of my best friend's mom looked at mine and said, "Jennifer, I don't' think Madison likes gymnastics. All she does at practice is sit everyone else down to watch her sing and perform the little plays that she makes up."
I always knew. I loved to perform for people and make other people watch it. When I was five years old, my mom took me to a community theater and I started doing Broadway lessons. So it incorporated Broadway dance and singing. The first play I did was "Annie" and I was five years old and I played Molly.
When did you decide to make the jump into more television and film acting?
I started doing television film when I was seven. My mom and I came out to LA when I was seven after I was scouted by a talent agency. The first commercial I did, I thought, "I love this! I never want to do anything else." It was more like an after school hobby. So instead of going to soccer practice I'd go to an audition. When I was 14 and I had gotten into high school, I realized that it was my career and I wanted to do every aspect of the film industry. I want to be a writer and a director and a producer, but most of all I want to act.
What was the audition process like for you in "A Light Beneath Their Feet."
I was actually in Austin filming Season 2 -- actually Season 1 of "From Dusk Till Dawn." Wow, time flies. Anyways, I wasn't able to fly into LA to meet with Valerie Weiss (the director), so I did a Skype audition with her. Then it was really just a series of Skype auditions and chemistry reads and I ended up getting the role. From the moment I read the script, I knew that I loved the concept. It was a very sweet script and I felt it explored both sides of this mother-daughter relationship. I felt like it was very fair. There wasn't one side that had more importance than the other.
How did you develop your character for this film?
This character was me! I was going through this time where I had to figure out if I even wanted to go to college. I tried to put a lot of myself into this character because I have great relationship with my mom. I don't want to say that she's my best friend because I feel like that implies she's not strict, but she is. She's my confidant and best friend. When I read the script that's how I thought Beth felt about her mom. Even though she suffers from bipolar disorder, her mom is still her best friend. They're crazy together and they love each other. Beth is also going through having a mother with bipolar disorder, so I knew I had to add the mania to my character as well. Because it is stressful having to be the care-taker of somebody. I tried to put myself in Beth's shoes. I was seventeen at the time and so was she, so I knew what that was like already. I just had to add in the fact that she is a caretaker to her mother on top on that.
YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusives on Madison Davenport, including her favorite moment while on set.
To see past YouShouldKnow stars, scroll through the gallery below:
YSK Social Stars
This rising actress is giving young Hollywood a run for its money
What are you looking at 👀😂
How I look every day because life is too short to not have fun with yourself 🙆🏻
Move the way you want to move 💃🏼
This is my face when someone mentions food!🤓 Releasing a new video tonight! Can't wait!❤️
Shooting a new vid for you guys!! Uploading Wednesday!!!😍❤️🎬 #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
It's the most wonderful time of the year❤️🎄🎁
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Bonjour, je m'appelle Meredith. Comment t'appelle tu?
Out of my 3 years of studying French this is one of the only things I remember 😂👋
AHH!!! We hit 3MILLION subbies today!! 💞🎉😭🎂 I love my #macbabies so so much!!! You all mean the WORLD to me!!! Our family is growing so much! Thank you for allowing me to just be my awkward self. I love you and I can never thank you enough for all the opportunities you've given me!! 💞🎉🎂✨😱
i like pink doors ♡
ps..new video going up soon! ahh who's excited?!? link in my bio! also, what's your fav color?! hehe 💞✌🏼️🎉
until next time thailand ♡
ps...guess who just uploaded a vlog!! you get a sneak peek of my final room decor!! ahh! also, how did you find my youtube channel? i'm so curious! 💞🌎✌🏼️
i just wanna travel the world ✈️ where should I go next ?😉
so ready for halloween 👻
SOOOO, I just uploaded a brand new HALLOWEEN VIDEO!! Click the link in my bio to watch!🎃
eye see you 👀 Ps: thank you all for your amazing and continued support. I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you so much. xoxo
Have you seen my new video yet!? It's all about music festivals so make sure to check it out on my YouTube channel! + there's some friends in it☺️
My new video is dropping today!!! Can you guess what it'll be..?😗
u like em crazy babe don't u
the #londonhasfallen premiere last night 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧
when the waiter passes your table with food
Love him 💕
Fun fact : purple and orange teacups are the fastest! :)
WE OUT HERE AT THE #KCA's and the inner child in me is screaming.
trying my hardest to be "fierce"....
Welcome to slime history @rebelwilson !! 😁😂 #KCA2016
2 0 1 6 - #HAPPYNEWYEAR on the water 2-5~6
We love taking walks, no phones, just talking about life. If you can, make time every week to take a 30-minute walk with a friend or a loved one. It's a cool way to get to know each other on a deeper level!
Leap year gives us all 24 extra hours to #DayItForward! We’ve teamed up w/ @Chevrolet to send love to #UsTheFamily - check out our Twitter feed tomorrow!!
Have you heard?! We're joining our friends @ptxofficial on the first leg of their World Tour this Spring! Click the link in our bio for tix, or visit https://www.ustheduo.com/tour :) PUMPED to meet some new and current #UsTheFamily members!
NEW VIDEO: Creepy Things Girls Do 😂 Comment a, "🐬" if you've watched it/will watch it
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I came here to live life like nobody is watching ❥ ♡
Happy Valentine's Day loves❤️
Did you catch the latest blog post on the blog (link in profile)?? Who else loves afternoon tea?? // 📷: @torrancecoombs #TheAListIreland
Dorky smiles + a photobomb by some serious woman with a serious collar 😜😜 #HereCoombsTheBride
Soft curls and red lips 💋 // 📷: @torrancecoombs
Every girl ought to have a pair of nude suede pumps! Nothing like New shoes Monday with @mgemi. Get more details on @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/2fcOb #liketkit #lovemgemi
On the streets of Paris in red and how I style my street style looks for fashion week revealed on #thechrisellefactor today! Direct link in bio 👉🏻 http://thechrisellefactor.com/2016/03/power-color/ 📷:@karenrosalie_
Rendezvous in Paris in Pink on #TheChriselleFactor today. Direct link in bio 👉🏻 http://thechrisellefactor.com/2016/03/rendezvous-in-pink/
Your not ready for this #chromat #nyfw #teamthis
We run THIS show #HBDWang #rkobh #teamthis
When it's "chilly" out 😜 #ootd
ATL tonight 😏
had the King of LA @yg come through last night 🙏🏽
If you guys saw how I looked before you would think it was magic 😩😭 My beautiful makeup for #kca by @beautybydianalomelin 💫
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Eating all that sushi finally turned me into a mermaid! 😭
for @projectmermaids #saveourbeach
Photography by @angelinaventurellaphoto
Hair and Makeup by @ljbeauty
Bra by @edwordgarcia
Sponsored by @sexyhair
Project Manager @crissycrissybobissy
If you know me well or have read interviews I’ve done then you know that @marthastewart has always been my biggest inspiration when it comes to food. One of my goals is to be a combination of my two idols- Martha and Andy Warhol. As a child I would dream about spending the time and care like her to prepare a table, creating something very special for people to join around and share a meal. Watching her cook inspired me to teach myself how to hand weigh ingredients, to always have my mise en place organized, how to pronounce words like vichyssoise, and her wide usage of produce variety is honestly a large part of where my curiosity for our food sparked from. With this said, I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I was told that I was one of the 25 creatives @marthastewart is inspired by in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Thank you for helping me think and dream so big Martha, I am honored to share this and to make you all of the colors. #25yearsofmartha #foodgradients
I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. I’m Brittany and I recognize that I seem to do a decent job of not sharing much about my actual self here or in interviews. I prefer to keep my art about the food and not myself. This community and my photography have become the biggest part of my life, I love it more than I have words to explain but there's more that makes me who I am. So for a quick moment here’s a bit- I’m 24, a taurus, live in Seattle but grew up in San Diego, my favorite food is a cheeseburger (super thin patty, toasted bun), my favorite bands are @stygoc and @metric, my first tattoo was the one on chest- it’s still my favorite and says ‘love your life’, something many people sadly forget. I was raised by my grandparents, I love to make small collections of items like rocks and stickers, I grew up playing a lot of sports competitively, I love Star Wars and have Boba Fett tattooed on my arm but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite movie. Many times I have been told that being an artist “can’t be a real job” and that I was wasting my time trying to do so. I smile everyday not because I proved them wrong but because I achieved a goal. Dream big, everyone.
Thought I might start this week off with a past candy photo. Here's to hoping you all have the best days ahead! #foodgradients
Köln!!!! Didn't pronounce your name right on stage but... You were AMAZING. Only a couple shows left in EU-- next up, London... (📷: @annamaria_langer )
Practicing our Spanish with @tvtelehit Mexico 🇲🇽
Sam wants to play Jack & Rose in Titanic but Casey's all "nah i'm good, have fun tho mang"
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