Maid's Margaret Qualley Reveals the Truth About Those Disgusting Cleaning Scenes

In an exclusive chat with E! News, Maid star Margaret Qualley shared what it was like cleaning those filthy rooms—and her answer may surprise you.

By Alyssa Ray Oct 22, 2021 9:34 PMTags
Watch: Margaret Qualley Is Totally Okay With Cockroaches?!

Maid is not a series for those faint of heart.

Not only does the Netflix drama depict one single mother's resilience as she attempts to rebuild her life after leaving an abusive relationship, it also features brutal cleaning scenes that would make any clean freak's skin crawl. One memorable scene featured Margaret Qualley's character Alex having to clean a squatters' den, which included overflowing toilets, crusty countertops and more unthinkable mess.

Before you panic and break out your hand sanitizer, take comfort in this behind-the-scenes intel regarding those horrifyingly dirty rooms: They aren't real. No, really. Qualley told E! News in an exclusive chat that a brilliant creative team transformed those spaces to just look disastrous.

"It's incredible," she started off. "The concoctions that they would use to make, because, like, it's all fake. I'm doing the princess version of all this. It's like ketchup and hot sauce and A-1 or whatever that's like, plastered onto an oven in order to make it look like [dirt]. Everything is like clean dirt."

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That's what we like to call movie magic, folks!

Qualley went on to call the set design "pretty breathtaking." And though she was unbothered by the all-too-believable-looking set, there was one important person who struggled with the mess: director Nzingha Stewart.

"The director of episodes three and four was really squeamish," Qualley said, "and had a challenging time...dealing with the set and the cockroaches. I don't think she made it in the room for the cockroach scene."

The realism in Maid is likely what has made it a hit for Netflix. What's even more eye-opening? The series is inspired by Stephanie Land's New York Times best-selling memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive.

The series also stars Qualley's real-life momAndie MacDowell, along with Rylea Nevaeh WhittetAnika Noni Rose and Nick Robinson.

Watch: Margaret Qualley's Surreal Moment Working With Mom Andie MacDowell

Maid is available to stream on Netflix.

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