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Maya Erskine: Actress and Writer
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Maya Erskine is an American actress, writer, and producer best known for co-creating and starring in the Hulu comedy series PEN15. She has recently taken on a new challenge, starring opposite Donald Glover in the Prime Video series Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Early Life and Education

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en.wikipedia.org
Maya Erskine was born on May 7, 1987, in Los Angeles to a Japanese mother, Mutsuko Nigatawa, and an American father, jazz drummer Peter Erskine. She attended Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts before studying experimental theater at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Her early education set a solid foundation for her creative career, honing her skills in performance and preparing her for the challenges of the entertainment industry.
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Early Theater and TV

Maya Erskine began her acting career by performing with Los Angeles-based theater groups, including the East West Players and the Geffen Playhouse. These early theater experiences allowed her to hone her craft and develop her skills as a performer. Erskine then transitioned to television, landing roles in shows such as "Hart of Dixie" (2013) and "Betas" (2013-2014). Her breakout role came as Maggie in the FXX series "Man Seeking Woman" (2015-2017), showcasing her comedic timing and ability to bring nuance to her characters. These early roles laid the foundation for Erskine's future success in the entertainment industry, demonstrating her versatility as an actress.
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PEN15 Success and Acclaim

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Maya Erskine's breakthrough came with the Hulu comedy series PEN15, which she co-created and starred in alongside Anna Konkle. The show, in which Erskine and Konkle play fictionalized 13-year-old versions of themselves, received critical acclaim for its honest and hilarious portrayal of adolescence in the early 2000s. PEN15 earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2021, with Erskine and Konkle also receiving individual nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 2019 and 2021 for the episodes "Anna Ishii-Peters" and "Play," respectively. Critics praised Erskine's pitch-perfect performance, capturing the nuances of teenage angst and passion with authenticity and humor that resonated with audiences.
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Notable Film and TV Roles

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Maya Erskine has continued to expand her acting repertoire with notable film and television roles in recent years. In 2019, she appeared in Amy Poehler's directorial debut Wine Country, showcasing her comedic chops alongside a talented ensemble cast. Erskine has also lent her voice to several animated projects, including the action-adventure series Blue Eye Samurai in 2023 and the DC League of Super-Pets film in 2022. One of Erskine's most significant upcoming roles is starring opposite Donald Glover in the Amazon Prime Video series Mr. & Mrs. Smith, set to premiere in 2024. In this highly-anticipated adaptation of the 2005 film, Erskine plays Jane Smith, marking a departure from her previous comedic work and delving into the action-drama genre. This role demonstrates Erskine's versatility as an actress and her ability to take on challenging projects across various genres, further cementing her status as a rising star in the entertainment industry.
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Relationship with Michael Angarano and Family

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Maya Erskine and Michael Angarano first met while working on a film together and began dating in 2019. The couple got engaged in 2020 and welcomed their first child, son Leon Frederick, in 2021. In April 2024, Erskine and Angarano announced they are expecting their second child together. Erskine's mixed cultural background, being the daughter of a Japanese mother and American father, has significantly influenced her life and career. Her mother Mutsuko moved from Tokyo to California after marrying jazz drummer Peter Erskine. This diverse family heritage has shaped Erskine's perspective and artistic sensibilities in her acting and writing work.
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Awards and Accolades

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imdb.com
Maya Erskine has received critical acclaim and recognition for her work, particularly for the Hulu series PEN15. Some of her most notable awards and nominations include:
  • 3 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (2019, 2021) and Outstanding Comedy Series (2021) for PEN15
  • Winner of the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Series - Shortform for PEN15 in 2019
  • Nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy Series in 2020 and 2021 for her work on PEN15
  • Nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Comedy Series for PEN15
  • Nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for the PEN15 episode "Yuki" in 2022
Erskine's numerous accolades highlight her talent as both a writer and actress, cementing her status as a rising star in the entertainment industry.
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Voice Acting Roles

Maya Erskine has lent her voice to several animated projects, showcasing her versatility as an actress. She voiced the character of Judy in the adult animated comedy series Crossing Swords, which premiered on Hulu in 2020. Erskine has also done voice work for the popular animated series Bob's Burgers, guest starring in two episodes as the characters Mara and Inga. These voice acting roles demonstrate her ability to bring unique personalities to life through her vocal performances and comedic timing.
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Closing Thoughts

facts.net
facts.net
Maya Erskine, at just 37 years old, has already made a significant impact in the entertainment industry with her multifaceted talents as an actress, writer, and producer. In a relatively short period of time, she has garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase through her authentic and relatable performances, particularly in the groundbreaking series PEN15. As Erskine embarks on this new chapter of her life, welcoming her second child with husband Michael Angarano, she continues to inspire with her ability to balance her thriving career and growing family. With upcoming projects like Mr. & Mrs. Smith showcasing her versatility as an actress, Maya Erskine's star is undoubtedly on the rise, and audiences eagerly anticipate the next steps in her already impressive journey.
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