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Andie MacDowell reveals heartbreaking true story behind her part in Maid

The actress is starring in the Netflix series alongside her daughter, Margaret Qualley

Francesca Shillcock

Andie MacDowell is currently wowing Netflix audiences with her part as Paula in brilliant new series, Maid, which happens to star her real-life daughter, Margaret Qualley, as the lead, Alex.

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But away from the family ties within the show, which is based on the New York Times best-selling memoir written by Stephanie Land, the Four Weddings and a Funeral star recently opened up about the heartbreaking story of her own mother that inspired her part in Maid.

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Speaking to USA today, Andie candidly spoke about her difficult childhood and complex relationship with her mother, who battled alcoholism and mental illness. "My mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and had shock treatments," she began.

"There wasn't a moment that I knew my mother as a healthy woman. She was always suffering. So I have lived with deep suffering my whole life, and it's also manifested in other ways."

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Andie MacDowell as Paula in Maid

Relating her story back to her character Paula, Alex's mother who suffers from bi-polar and with whom Alex has a turbulent relationship, Andie added: "I understand the complexity of a broken person, a person that you love regardless [of] how difficult they are. So it was a comfortable fit for me."

Andie, who is also known for her film work in Groundhog Day and Green Card, also revealed to Collider that her relationship with her mother was partly the reason her daughter, Margaret, was keen to sign her up for the part of her on-screen mother.

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Margaret Qualley as Alex

"She knew that I've had personal experiences with mental illness because my mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia right after I was born", she said.

"They didn't have the support system back then. It was an embarrassment to have any kind of mental illness. So, I grew up in this really crazy environment, and Margaret knew that. She was like, 'Oh, my God, I know who's perfect for this. She can do this.'"

The drama series has received rave reviews from critics and fans alike. It focuses on Alex (Margaret Qualley), a single mother who has recently walked away from an abusive relationship and is struggling to make ends meet, so starts working as a cleaner but faces many obstacles on her journey.

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