Super cool. Badass. Kickass. These are just a few of the adjectives that Maika Monroe often uses in casual conversation. They’re also completely appropriate descriptors to use for the 22-year-old nationally-ranked-kiteboarder-turned-bonafide-leading-woman as well. Hailing from Santa Barbara, Calif., Monroe is just getting started in her quest to carve out her place as a young actress in Hollywood, and she’s doing it with remarkable proficiency. A cursory glance at her IMDb page boasts an embarrassment of riches in both directors (Sofia Coppola, Jason Reitman) and actors (Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Zac Efron) with whom she’s already collaborated. Most important, Maika Monroe is making power moves on her own terms. 

After a spate of minor roles in projects like At Any Price and The Bling Ring, Monroe watched her star power explode in 2014 after the one-two punch of Adam Wingard’s pop home-invasion thriller The Guest and David Robert Mitchell’s chilling sexual terror tale It Follows. The former became an instant cult hit while the latter not only rejuvenated the art house horror genre—paving the way for films like Goodnight Mommy and The Witch—but also grossed tenfold its $2 million budget. Monroe became instantly celebrated for her impressive acting chops and her eye for smart scripts that feature powerful, multi-faceted female characters.

This summer, the actress is out to prove her range, transitioning from indie darling to blockbuster boss in this summer’s highly anticipated Independence Day: Resurgence, in which she plays Patricia Whitmore, the daughter of the former president, played by Bill Pullman. It’s Monroe’s first step into the mainstream, but also proof that she’s up for anything. Think that Monroe is ready to settle for the “scream queen” label? Think again.