Lexi Underwood
Source: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Breaking New Ground: Lexi Underwood's Impactful Roles


Nov. 14 2023, Published 3:19 p.m. ET

Lexi Underwood is renowned for her role as Pearl Warren in Hulu's hit drama series Little Fires Everywhere. Her journey as an actor is one of resilience in pursuing her passion. The Cheverly, Maryland native has built a reputation as a young, rising star in Hollywood.

Like many young actors, she started honing her acting chops at a very young age and put in the famous 10,000 hours of practice into her craft. She would go on to make her first theatrical debut when she was just 10. She played Urchin Girl in the A Christmas Carol production at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Starring in critically acclaimed theatrical plays did not guarantee she would be cast in film and television roles. Lexi was on the verge of giving up on acting before she got the Pearl Warren part in Little Fires Everywhere.

However, her mother convinced her to keep auditioning. She caught her break in her next audition.

Let's explore Lexi's most impactful roles in her budding acting career.

Pearl Warren in ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

Her role as Pearl Warren is her most impactful role in her career and it was her first major role after auditioning for five years and almost giving up.

"I lost this [other TV] pilot the day before the audition, and I was completely ready to get out of the business," she said in an interview with the New York Post.

"I didn't want to audition for Little Fires Everywhere, but my mom told me to go and give it a shot, and I did," she revealed about her reluctance to audition. "I didn't think I was going to get the part because … I hadn't really done anything major before."

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Based on Celest Ng's bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere, revolves around Pearl and her mother, Mia Warren (played by Kerry Washington). The rebellious daughter moves with her mother to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where they meet the wealthy but secretly dysfunctional Richardson family. As Pearl and Mia entwine with the Richardsons, so do their secrets, making for mind-gripping drama.

Her portrayal of Pearl and her performances in the series were received well by the audience and critics. The New York Times defined her performance as "excellent," noting that "the scenes between Mia and Pearl, both the tender and the angry ones, are the show's highlights."

Speaking about the project to British Vogue, she said she was drawn to the project due to the wide variety of topics it delves into, including motherhood, racism, LGBT rights, and abortion rights. As such, aside from her stellar performances, the show, with all its drama, explored a wide variety of societal issues while initiating debates in real life.

Isabella LaRue in ‘Cruel Summer’

Lexi was cast in Season two of the teen drama series Cruel Summer. She portrayed Isabella LaRue, a foreign exchange student living with the Landry family.

Malia Obama in ‘The First Lady’

She also played Malia Obama in The First Lady. The Showtime series explored the lives of Michelle Obama (Viola Davis), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) as first ladies.

Importantly, Underwood is very active and has appeared in numerous TV shows and films. She continues challenging herself and expanding her horizons by taking on various roles.

She has appeared on the Emmy-winning Sneakerella playing the role of Kira King. Other notable appearances include Will vs. The Future and Just Beyond for an admirable catalog of performances.

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