Marleen Josefien Maathuis was born in Purmerend, The Netherlands, to Marijke de Jong, an artist, and Harry Maathuis, a professor in criminal law. Maathuis moved with her parents to Tilburg at the age of 1,5 where she grew up. At a young age she suffered from mild atychiphobia; fear of failure. To make her more confident, her parents decided to train her in music and arts. Maathuis began acting in secondary school, when she landed a lead role in that years school musical. At age 19, she went to De Acteurs school Amsterdam, one of the top private theater school in The Netherlands. Maathuis decided on pursuing an acting career in film when she repeatedly heard from her teachers that her acting was too ”small”.
At the age of 20 Maathuis started her study in fine arts at artschool St.Joost in Breda, The Netherlands. She later drifted off into art, technology and science. In the month of her graduation her mother unexpectedly passed away. Maathuis decided to quit on the graduation project she was working on at that given time and decided on creating a new one, in memory of her mother. She created an bio-data installation that makes it possible to listen to her mother’s DNA sequence, named The DNA Modulator. In 2014 she was asked to do a TED talk about her philosophy and work as an artist.
As an actress, she got a lot of media attention in The Netherlands after portraying the role of Merel in The Entertainment Experience Project by Paul Verhoeven. The organization even declared her ”The Face” of the project. Out of this project the feature film Lotgenoten (2013) directed by Stephan Brenninkmeijer, was born.
In 2014 Maathuis was nominated best actress at Go Short Nijmegen and became runner up.
Being bilingual (Dutch – English), Maathuis is planning on moving to London at the end of 2014 to pursue an international career in acting.