Even though Maitland Ward starred in her first adult feature film, Drive, in September, the starlet has been thinking about altering her career path for quite a long time. “It’s a natural progression, and it’s been a slow build,” the 42-year-old dished while chatting with In Touch exclusively. “I have taken baby steps. Some people think it just happened all of a sudden, and I just made this wild decision overnight to just change everything about my persona, but no. If you have followed me on social media and other things, you have seen me go through a metamorphosis, so to speak.”

While some might be a bit intimidated in a new role — especially when you have to be naked on screen — Maitland was actually ready to jump right in. “They needed this role filled, and [Kayden Kross and I] met at a Starbucks,” she revealed about how she got the part in the first place. “I was working with her on getting it filmed by starting the next week. So, it was kind of like — I guess I didn’t have a lot of time to think to be scared. I was just really excited.”

Maitland Ward Wearing a Cozy Sweater
Courtesy of Maitland Ward/Instagram

The redheaded beauty admitted the script was the first thing to lure her in. “I was floored at how well it was written,” she explained. “Just the overall theme of it. It was such a dark-twisted, delicious kind of thing, and I looked at it, and I said, ‘This is not what you would expect from adult entertainment.’ This is a movie, and it just has all the sexual stuff in it, and it’s fantastic. I really got to explore stuff that I never would have gotten to in mainstream.”

Ultimately, the former Boy Meets World star is grateful for the opportunity to switch gears since she didn’t know if she would be able to prove herself as anything other than a Disney girl. “I would have never been given this character in mainstream because they typecast you,” she said. “I also want to do these other things, so it’s really a great vehicle for me to bridge. It’s funny — I come on to set, and I am myself and then I get that fake cigarette in my hand, and I am just like, you know, it’s wonderful.”

The scenes might be sexual and risqué, but Maitland admitted it’s actually a lot harder than it seems. “There are a lot of positions and things that you’re doing,” she dished. “Like for my Christmas movie, we had do it on folding chairs in a meeting room — this whole acrobatic thing. Lifting me up and all this stuff, so you get a lot of injuries, like muscle tears. You have to hold yourself in a certain way.”

Maitland Ward Wearing a Blue Velvet Dress

Luckily, Maitland’s friends and family are so supportive of her new opportunity. “My circle kind of expects things like this from me,” she said.

We can’t wait to see what else Maitland has in store for us in 2020!

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